Environment Blog

  • The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage our lives through diminished social contact, disrupted commerce and illness and death. One unobvious example has been interruptions in food supply chains, from farmers’ markets to large food manufacture...

  • The Van Jones backstory. So Van Jones now takes his place as the Lani Guinier of the Obama administration, undone by his radical views. Like Guinier, the ousted “green jobs” czar will doubtless employ his political martyrdom to transform ...

  • No one who is younger than 40 will remember the late legendary radio commentator Paul Harvey.  Every afternoon, he would begin his daily radio program by promising to tell us “the rest of the story.” Thanks to a provision slipped into a budget traile...

  • California’s Assembly Bill 5 has not been broken, but given a couple of recent developments, it might soon be showing some cracks. On May 20, Assembly Bill 1850, which would exempt some professions from AB5, a law that virtually outlaws independent c...

  • That’s what Pres. Trump said in a tweet on the record-shattering $2 trillion phase 3 stimulus package. Right by the Bay doesn’t question the need for government to step up to help the economy get through the coronavirus pandemic.  But even during thi...

  • Can Trump yank GM’s electric vehicle tax credit? By Rachel Layne On Tuesday, President Donald Trump vented his anger at General Motors after the company announced several plant closings and more than 14,000 layoffs. The president threatened to elimin...

  • Jerry Brown was tagged with the nickname “Gov. Moonbeam” while in office during the 1970s and 1980s. It was a fitting handle, because he was an unorthodox politician who represented the state’s increasingly curious behavior. Now in his second life as...

  • The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee has just released a bi-partisan bill authored by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) that would make health care more affordable and more transparent for patients...

  • Thanks to Trump’s corporate tax cut, companies have become, well, more enterprising. Where a 31 percent federal tax rate ruled out many new ventures, a 21 percent tax rate makes them far more viable.  So, it’s no surprise that state officials have be...

  • During my past life at the State Capitol, I had the pleasure to mentor many great interns. I would host one or two interns at a time, who would work for four months during summer break or during the semester while attending college.  My former......

  • Today is one of the biggest events of the year at the State Capitol – the Governor’s State of the State Address. When Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor, it was literally a circus.  the entire lawn of the Capitol was literally filled with dozens of s...

  • When I was on vacation recently in Europe, our tour guide would tell us stories every night about her time living as a young bride in Greece with her late husband and young daughter.  As we departed, she said she would love to be our......

  • I’ve written extensively about the ongoing troubles at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Last year, the DMV first made headlines with the scandal over long wait times brought about by a lack of any realistic plan to help millions of Californians upda...

  • San Francisco – The Pacific Research Institute (PRI) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) today released the 2008 Index of Leading Environmental Indicators, an annual report highlighting the significant environmental developments and milestone...

  • San Francisco – The Pacific Research Institute (PRI) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) today released the 2009 Index of Leading Environmental Indicators, an annual report highlighting the significant environmental developments and milestone...

  • With the advent of 2010 California stands only a decade away from 2020 when, according to plan, the state should be producing a full 33 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. That unrealistic goal will be tough to achieve by any standard ...

  • San Francisco—Improvements seen across key environmental indicators should be cause for celebration this Earth Day, according to Steven F. Hayward, Ph.D., author of the new book Almanac of Environmental Trends, released by the Pacific Research Instit...

  • The reduction in air pollution continues to be the most successful domain of pollution reduction since the first Earth Day in 1970. Since the first edition of this Almanac two years ago, reductions in air pollution have been astonishing. The EPA rece...

  • Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, wins the award for the best staged press conference of 2019. Not since Governor Schwarzenegger brought out the infamous “Count Cartaxula” (played by my good friend Walter von Huene) have we seen anything like a...

  • In late April, Senator Elizabeth Warren beat out other 2020 presidential contenders to the college-aged voter pulpit by introducing a sweeping student loan forgiveness plan. With the previous debate about the nation’s massive $1.57 trillion student l...

  • Earlier this year, I wrote about the #Build2020 plan put forward by Assembly Democrats to make it easier to raise taxes at the local level for special taxes and general obligation bonds to pay for things like libraries, hospitals, parks, and other po...

  • Recently, the PRI All Stars (Rowena Itchon, Ben Smithwick, Lance Izumi, Evan Harris and Tim Anaya) got together to hand out their annual 2020 year end awards on PRI’s “Next Round” podcast.  Below are their choices for the biggest winners and losers o...

  • Former Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy said it best.  When speaking about his time in the Legislature, he said, “I’m not a lawmaker.  I’m a Republican!” When I worked in the Legislature, I used to always joke that my fellow Republican staff and I had one...

  • California voters rejected Proposition 23 and thereby missed their chance to delay implementation of AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. That measure is certain to worsen a state economy still in recession, with an unemployment ...

  • The 50 State Index of Energy Regulation measures the regulatory climate for energy consumption, production, and distribution and which states are more economically efficient. Alabama, Alaska, South Dakota, and Texas tied for the best (#1), while Cali...

  • California has some of the lowest fertility rates in the nation, coming in at 1.6 in 2019. The number is expected to decrease even more. One recent study projects that 25% of American millennial women will be childless, a significant uptick from hist...

  • In addressing the nation’s falling fertility rates, many well-meaning pro-natalists advocate for cash incentives and higher tax credits for families with children. Countries with dismal fertility rates, such as Hungary, have introduced generous progr...

  • As I posted at the Pacific Research Institute website, the California State Lands Commission (SLC) has rejected a proposal that would have led to the first new oil drilling project off the California coast in 40 years. On January 29, the panel voted ...

  • Last week the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) published its latest fiscal outlook for California. The headlines were so great that you could almost hear the champagne corks popping in Sacramento. Not only has the state budget in California run sur...

  • The health care debate continues to heat up this week. A big vote in Congress on the Graham-Cassidy health care reform legislation is expected before Saturday, September 30. This is the deadline to pass repeal and replace legislation with just 50 vot...

  • The nation’s Western states are facing severe, and worsening, water shortages. There are both consumption and supply problems, and neither will be easy to fix. However, we have a remedy for the latter. More water is used in America per capita than al...

  • Despite intense, sometimes contentious negotiations — most recently at a meeting of world leaders in Denmark — the likelihood of a binding deal on global carbon emissions appears remote. Virtually all nations agree about the potential severity of cli...

  • Necessity is the mother of invention – perhaps that’s why JP Morgan Chase recently bought OpenInvest, a San Francisco-based start-up that provides financial advisors the technology to customize a portfolio of ESG stocks.  Rather than put their client...

  • Supply Side Economics works. This isn’t a political statement, nor should it be a particularly controversial one either, unless you believe I am referring to the mythical “trickle down” straw man conjured up by some in the political establishment. By...

  • Gov. Jerry Brown told us in his recent State of the State address that, of course, nearly all is well in California on his watch. The real state of this state is not so sweet, though. Beneath the sheen applied by the governor, there is......

  • It’s not surprising that many people are skeptical about “scientific” findings. A new study from Japan seems to show that neonicotinoid insecticides (“neonics”), used around the world to protect crops from insect infestations, are so destructive that...

  • PRI is fortunate to be home to several former speechwriters for Presidents and Governors, including me. Anyone who has been a speechwriter watches a big public speech like this week’s State of the Union address or Gov. Newsom’s upcoming State of the ...

  • In 1967 Arthur Koestler wrote The Ghost in the Machine, which was essentially a critique of the hypothesis that the human mind could be viewed as a machine, a sort of chemical computer. He went on to consider that if were a computer, then what......

  • Today is Labor Day, which is traditionally the last day of summer and a time for one last barbecue or trip to the beach with family and friends. Labor Day used to be remembered for another annual tradition – the Jerry Lewis Telethon. For all......

  • San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s proposal to boost home building won’t alone relieve the city’ housing shortage. But as starts go, it’s not a bad one. Breed is rolling out a bill that would kill permits and inspection fees, eliminating “thousands o...

  • Some readers recoiled at my depiction last year of Gov. Bill Ritter’s Climate Action Plan as a “faith-based document” that barely hints at the “grueling acrobatics” needed to reach its goals of a 20 percent reduction in ...

  • Northern California is a hotbed of modern, global technological innovation, particularly internet innovation. Yet, increasingly Washington, D.C. dictates the direction and velocity of innovation, often abetted by the very companies that gained from t...

  • In his inaugural address, new President Barack Obama said he intended to “restore science to its rightful place” in government. Several days later, Obama again claimed a change in approach, saying, “Rigid ideology has overruled sound science. Special...

  • With the disastrous education landscape of 2020 now in the rear-view mirror, the New Year offers the opportunity to consider new ways of delivering effective learning to America’s children.  Portal Schools is one such promising model. Confronted with...

  • Everyone who drives in California suspects that fuel prices here are painfully high. And their suspicions are well-founded. Only Hawaii has more expensive gasoline. Or did. Thanks to the 12-cents-a-gallon tax hike on gasoline that went into effect on...

  • On the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision on Janus, the State Controller’s Office announced that beginning in July, it would stop deducting “fair share fees” from the paychecks of state workers who are not full union members.  The fair share fee, ...

  • Fiscal matters related to COVID-19 has dominated the budget discussions at the State Capitol this spring and summer.  In recent weeks, there have been increasingly difficult political discussions over the Newsom administration’s COVID-19 budget spend...

  • Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered his annual State of the State address at the State Capitol.  And in an unusual twist, he devoted the entire address to one topic – homelessness.  Typically, the State of the State outlines a governor’s policy wi...

  • Last week, after newly-elected members of the Legislature raised their hands to take their oaths of office, many also took the opportunity to introduce their first bills of the legislative session. In a sea of costly new programs, prohibitions on peo...

  • When Andy Puzder was 10, he went with his father, a Ford salesman, to deliver a new car to a wealthy customer. “Mr. Humphrey” lived in opulence on the east side of Cleveland. Puzder marveled at the treasure before him, the enormous house, the grand.....

  • National media attention recently returned to UC Berkeley over the planned “Free Speech Week.” Following dueling press releases over whether the event would occur and who would speak, the event largely fizzled out.  Ben Shaprio did speak on campus a ...

  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will make official on Tuesday what we knew all along – the Administration is officially withdrawing the controversial Clean Power Plan rule on power plant emissions. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has railed...

  • It’s a sad indictment of California’s political class, but often the Legislature’s top achievements are the things it didn’t get around to doing. Up until the final days of the legislation session, this year’s chief accomplishment looked like it woul...

  • Recently, I attended the graduation ceremony for the Discovery ChalleNGe Academy, which targets high school dropouts and produces quality-educated young people with strong values, life skills, and self-discipline.  With so many children falling throu...

  • “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases,” said Ronald Reagan, “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” Uber and Lyft are on the move. And guess what?......

  • It is with much sadness that I learned of the recent passing of one of my favorite and most respected economists, Professor Walter Williams.  Walter was a prolific writer, author, educator, and defender of freedom.  He died on December 3rd at 84, hav...

  • When I was a junior speechwriter working in Governor Schwarzenegger’s administration, one of the great pleasures I had was working with and getting to know David Crane.  David was the Governor’s advisor on economic issues and his office was right nex...

  • It seems clear that the first major penalty man will have to pay for his rapid consumption of the earth’s nonrenewable resources will be that of having to live in a world where his thoughts and actions are ever more strongly limited, where social org...

  • California’s chronic water problems were once again national news when Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation establishing a code of water-use restrictions that would be more fitting for an undeveloped nation. As usual, policymakers chose the austerity ...

  • Ronald Reagan once described the government’s view of the economy like this: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” From his last point, even the Gipper couldn’t imagine that government would tax...

  • Grade 13. That’s what Californians will be funding if Governor Brown signs Assembly Bill 19, which provides a year of free tuition to anyone enrolling in a California community college, regardless of the student’s income. The bill isn’t intended to h...

  • California is in the midst of economic turmoil. Headlines shout daily about the plummeting dollar and home values, disappearing jobs, soaring fuel and food costs, and a growing massive state budget deficit. Apparently oblivious to the strain on Calif...

  • During the recent election, the spin on Proposition 23 became drearily familiar. Voters who favored it were backing “greedy oil companies,” as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger put it, out to protect their own financial interests. Those who oppo...

  • A recent Fox & Hounds Daily opinion piece by David Crane, economic advisor to Governor Schwarzenegger attempted to dismiss the contribution of AB 32 to the state’s high unemployment rate. AB 32 is California’s “Global Warming Solutions Act,” a b...

  • John Stossel, ABC News’ co-anchor of “20/20” and a New York Times best-selling author, likes to take a skeptical look at a wide array of issues, but hold the phone on his new healthcare special — it was pulled to make room for yet more......

  • On November 2, Californians will have an unprecedented opportunity to vote on a ballot measure that will protect jobs and their quality of life. Proposition 23 would suspend implementation of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, until the...

  • The California Assembly voted last week to place on the November ballot an initiative to repeal Prop. 209, the 1996 constitutional amendment ending preferential treatment based on race and sex in public education, employment, and government contracti...

  • There have decades of bipartisan rhetoric about the virtues of home ownership, with politicians competing with one another to see who can propose the worst ideas for responsible homeownership. Some policies, like preferential tax treatment and credit...

  • Today, thousands are gathering in San Francisco for a so-called “Global Climate Action Summit.”  Co-hosted by Gov. Jerry Brown, several UN organizations and other leaders, it is billed as a “launchpad for deeper worldwide commitments and accelerated ...

  • Last week, the Supreme Court issued a major decision in a case about online retailers collecting sales taxes, South Dakota v. Wayfair. As PRI’s Bartlett Cleland recently wrote in Fox and Hounds, “the case is centered around the notion that an entity ...

  • SAN FRANCISCO — Is your food making the planet sick? Are your pork chops, your corn chips, your steaks, your breakfast cereal polluting the air, water and land that everyone on Earth depends on to sustain life? The answer, says a Pacific Research Ins...

  • Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a debate of the Democrat and Republican candidates for California Attorney General, which was sponsored by the Sacramento Press Club. The Republican and Democratic candidates could not present a starker cont...

  • Recently, thousands of farm workers and their supporters hit the road in California’s Central Valley to raise awareness of water shortages in the region that are threatening the livelihoods and communities that rely heavily on irrigated crops. The fa...

  • This is not the time to implement policies that will further cripple California’s economy and put a disproportionate financial burden on the state’s poor and elderly, but that is exactly what the California Air Resources Board is planning...

  • The California Air Resources Board has proposed a new mandate to require car companies to install metallic reflective windows, which CARB Chairwoman Mary Nichols describes as “a common-sense and cost-effective measure that will help cool the ca...

  • I recently read about a case in Berkeley where a hot dog vendor just trying to earn a few dollars was manhandled by city government. Rigoberto “Beto” Matias was selling bacon-wrapped hotdogs outside a Cal football game. A police officer approached Be...

  • Political partisanship can be found in every part of society. What you say, or even what you do not say, is ripe for political criticism these days. It is no surprise then that social media, where a majority of the world devotes multiple hours each.....

  • In his “Breaking Down Barriers to Opportunity” series, PRI’s Dr. Wayne Winegarden has argued that one of the most important ways that elected officials can help to lift people up the economy ladder is by embracing policies that encourage entrepreneur...

  • Californians harboring dystopian fears would have us believe that the state is sowing the seeds of its own destruction by leading in the development of artificial intelligence. Consider state legislation introduced this year that would fine companies...

  • Right by the Bay is celebrating (or lamenting) April Fool’s Day by creating the following quiz on weird and goofy laws beginning in 2019 in California.  If you get a perfect score, you get a one-way ticket to Texas (April Fool’s!). True or False: Sur...

  • Humorist Will Rogers regularly uttered world-class comments, but few of his eminently quotable remarks can compete with his observation that a deadlocked Congress which can’t act “is the greatest blessing that could befall this country.” It’s temptin...

  • If you think this is going to be one of those hard-hitting policy pieces that you get from the likes of Anaya and Jackson, or one of those brainy blogs from Winegarden.  It’s not.  It’s all about me, and my yearning for that fabulous, subsidized......

  • With the mid-term elections now less than 100 days away, the siren-call for single-payer or “Medicare for All” continues.  Fifty-one percent of those polled earlier this year by Kaiser support single payer, the highest number ever recorded.   But as ...

  • While it took a couple months for clarity to replace idle speculation, the Biden administration’s tech and innovation public policy agenda is increasingly clear. The forecast? Government with little chance of free markets. At his recent address to Co...

  • San Francisco Examiner, June 9, 2009 We hear it every day. News headlines read: “Global Warming Biggest Threat of 21st Century, Experts say.” (businessweek.com. May 13th, 2009. Gardner, Amanda). News anchors provide us with a choice, either we believ...

  • California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has officially filed suit against Uber and Lyft for violating Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5). The action is a clear signal that the state’s policy leaders are determined to maximize the economic damage from this ill...

  • It’s one thing to be considered a Judicial Hellhole. It’s another thing altogether to hold that distinction year after year . . . after year. But, just as it is with so many state rankings, California isn’t a newcomer at the wrong end of a......

  • “Won’t you get hip to this timely tip: When you make that California trip, get your kicks on Route 66.” – Bobby Troup, “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” Coinciding with inflation rising faster than it has in 13 years, the cost of driving in......

  • The clock is ticking for trucking companies in the U.S. to comply with a federal mandate requiring drivers to stop logging their hours on the road with paper logs and switch to electronic logging devices (ELD) – and not everyone is happy about the ch...

  • Last week, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that private sector unions can’t force workers to pay for union lobbying activities. Jeanette Geary, a Rhode Island nurse who is not a union member, waged a decade-long battle against the Unite...

  • The government is not doing a very effective job of playing car salesman. Despite providing federal manufacturing grants and loans worth $40.7 billion and other $2 billion in federal tax credits to subsidize electric car purchases, electric cars, or ...

  • The United States government recently announced plans to look into allegations of anti-competitive behavior among agribusiness companies, particularly Monsanto, the ag biotechnology giant. As this action unfolds, policy makers should keep some realit...

  • Fuel prices in California are soaring like it’s 1979. A gallon of regular gasoline was averaging $3.82 across the state on Oct. 18, nearly a full dollar higher than the national average, according to AAA. Only in Hawaii are prices higher. With the su...

  • It was 38 years ago this weekend when during Super Bowl XVIII, Apple debuted one of the most powerful and provocative ads of all time. “1984” opens with an army of clone-like humans marching into a theater to watch on a giant screen a menacing......

  • The old adage is April showers bring May flowers.  Well, after a very wet winter, it looks like spring has finally sprung in California.  As soon as the seasons change, Golden State drivers are typically hit with another unwelcome phenomenon brought ...

  • The prospects sound good but the conference got only half the story. Estimates of just how many jobs our push to go green may generate vary widely, but not all economists believe that there really will be any kind of green-job boom. More important is...

  • California policymakers have been on overdrive in recent years pursuing a clean energy future for the Golden State. State policymakers have enacted scores of government mandates and programs to push employers and individuals to reduce emissions, incl...

  • Gov. Jerry Brown and some California lawmakers are pushing Golden State drivers to the fast lane of an all-electric car future. For example, San Francisco Democrat Phil Ting has introduced legislation to outlaw the sale of traditional gas-powered car...

  • After being soundly defeated in the Senate 0-57 (43 Democrats voted “present”), the Green New Deal continues to languish in the House.  Roll Call reported the following excuse from Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “I can’t say we’re going to take that and pass ...

  • According to one San Francisco supervisor, there are tens of thousands of vacant housing units in the city. “How do we activate them?” he asks. It’s a good question, with an answer that’s likely to unsettle the dwindling number in California who stil...

  • PRI’s coverage of California’s poverty problem through various op-eds and a policy brief have drawn considerable attention. Most of it has been positive, but one California writer for the hard-left Mother Jones claimed that despite the point we made,...

  • A dashcam video of downtown Los Angeles on Christmas Day 2017 revealed the devastating reality of the city’s homelessness problem. The video, shot in the city’s Skid Row district, shows dozens of tents, makeshift shelters, and people walking aimlessl...

  • Energy poverty is on the rise across Arizona today. If you spend more than 10 percent of your income on electricity, natural gas, and other household energy costs, then you are afflicted by energy poverty. It is a tragedy that forces some families to...

  • Despite technological advancements to the movement of goods, trucks will still transport and deliver and incredible amount of goods in 2020. But automation and self-driving research are not the biggest threat to truckers anymore. California’s contest...

  • At what point did the lawmakers who voted for, and the governor who signed, California Assembly Bill 5 realize it’s lousy policy? It should have been the moment the idea was first conceived. But that didn’t happen, the legislation became law, and now...

  • The great investor Warren Buffett once said, “Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”  UC President Janet Napolitan...

  • In my last blog post, I previewed the Assembly’s unusual “Committee of the Whole” hearing on the state budget, comparing it to Seinfeld’s Festivus “Airing of Grievances.” Little did I know how clairvoyant I really was. Last Tuesday’s five hour sessio...

  • When the California Air Resources Board opens its new headquarters in two years in Riverside, it will be basking in the radiance of the “world’s largest permanent collection of artworks addressing air quality and the effects of climate change.” The c...

  • Way back in August, in what seems like an entirely different historical era, when California was open relative to the restrictions we’re under today, 44% of small business owners said they were at risk of permanent closure in the next six months, unl...

  • Earth Day is fast approaching, yet despite the awareness this day brings, most people are powering their computers with electricity from coal-burning power plants, delivered by “dumb” networks. Change is long overdue, and it’s not a...

  • During my recent vacation in Australia and New Zealand, my friends and I spent an enjoyable day in Melbourne while on a Tasmanian cruise. Whenever I visit a big city for the first time on a trip, I always book a survey tour to take......

  • When I was in the investment industry in the 1990s, my friend Jeannette and I observed that after meetings and conferences, the top executives – mostly men but a few women — often played a round of golf.  We knew a lot of bonding took......

  • Asia Sentinel (Hong Kong), 19 February 2008 The US decision to divert food crops for motor-fuel is proving a costly mistake – especially for Asia. What has long been predicted – that the US decision to push the use of corn to make biofuel would......

  • Reeling from multiple massive state wildfires that its actions likely triggered, Pacific Gas & Electric, or PG&E, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this time last year. The investor-owned utility faces a June 30, 2020 deadline to come up with a...

  • The newspaper comic strip They’ll Do It Every Time that was published for nearly 80 years through 2008 “illustrated minor absurdities, frustrations, hypocrisies, ironies and misfortunes of everyday life,” says Wikipedia, typically showing “deceptive,...

  • Having successfully outlawed plastic bags and straws, the next target of California lawmakers, who seem intent on criminalizing as many consumer conveniences as possible, just might be those foam containers used to hold take-out food. Polystyrene, of...

  • Former Connecticut State Treasurer and founder and president of the Institute for Pension Fund Integrity Christopher Bancroft Burnham recently cited Dr. Wayne Winegarden’s study showing how environmental, social, and governance (ESG) funds unde...

  • In this November election, it’s unfortunate that there’s only one seat up on the BART board (for non-Bay Area readers, BART is the region’s electric train line), because if I had one command as Queen for a day – a question Tim Anaya likes to......

  • Just six years after declaring bankruptcy due to a 15-year spending binge, Stockton is now exploring creative new ways of spending again.  This time, it’s a one-year experiment to give several dozen Stockton families $500 a month, with no strings att...

  • In 2006, at the end of his movie An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore offered a number of things that the average person could do to decrease their impact on global climate change. They could ride a bike or take mass transit, the former vice-president advi...

  •   President Biden has proposed $174 billion in federal electric car subsidies, which research shows have been little more than giveaways to wealthy car buyers. California Has “Been There, Done That” California is one of the nation’s leaders in o...

  • Inspired by California’s high-speed rail debacle, the Biden Administration and liberals in Congress have proposed spending tens of billions of dollars to build new high-speed rail networks nationwide. California Has “Been There, Done That” California...

  • The Biden Administration wants to impose a national version of California’s unrealistic and unaffordable renewable energy mandates. California Has “Been There, Done That” California has established the nation’s most aggressive renewable portfolio goa...

  • Living in San Francisco is a dollar-burning experience. It’s the most expensive housing market in the country, and the cost of living is higher only in Manhattan. But what about building a business in the city that fancies itself as The City? Don’t e...

  • Before any policy is changed, the potential economic consequences that they can cause should be considered. The Community Reinvestment Act and other affordable housing regulations, for instance, were supposed to increase loan availability to under-se...

  • There is little doubt that the U.S. needs comprehensive tax reform. The corporate income tax system is globally uncompetitive; the personal income tax system is so complicated that even the IRS can’t answer taxpayers’ questions. The right reform impl...

  • What are the legitimate functions of good government? James Madison said they are “to protect property of every sort.” “The rights of persons and the rights of property are the objects for the protection of which government was instituted,” he said i...

  • Back in 2017, concerned over the sclerotic growth of the U.S. economy, PRI published a series of studies titled Beyond the New Normal by economist and PRI senior fellow Wayne Winegarden. Up until that point, annual real GDP growth averaged just 1.9 p...

  • A couple of weeks ago, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the White House was working with Facebook and other social media companies to target accounts spreading misinformation. Reaction to her comments and answers from reporters varied,...

  • Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden last week unveiled his version of the Green New Deal.  The plan, which can be summed up as AOC meets CA, shows just how far Biden is willing to lunge toward the left coast’s environmental agenda. AOC’s Green N...

  • The New York Times has a summary of the Biden Tax Plan claiming to explain “some of the main provisions included in the plan and how they’re intended to work.” While the Times may have accurately explained how the Administration “intends” for the tax...

  • President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Michael Regan to lead the EPA. Regan worked at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for years, and has been North Carolina’s environmental chief since 2018. As North Carolina’s top environmentalist, Regan ...

  • Right by the Bay has been following Sacramento’s tax raising schemes here, here, and here.  But the state’s tax marauding politicians aren’t the only ones we should be worried about.  Presidential candidate Joe Biden also wants Washington’s share of ...

  • Several possibilities have been offered for how the Biden administration will shift U.S. trade policy including scrapping the Trump trade negotiations with China through executive order and working with Asian allies to pressure China. Much of the Tru...

  • As of this writing, we don’t know who has won the 2020 presidential election.  Whoever wins, America’s next chief executive has many important policy decisions to make in the coming weeks.  Here’s a preview of some of the big issues that the presiden...

  • In October, San Francisco’s newest garbage management law goes into effect, potentially fining residents up to $100 per violation – businesses up to $500 – for failing to separate compostable garbage from their trash. Fines can also be incurred if ga...

  • The California Energy Commission recently considered a proposal to take control of home thermostats, a move that drew national attention and public protests. The CEC has now backed off,-but the story remains instructive for California consumers and p...

  • Renewable portfolio standards (RPS) can be considered the flagship environmental policy for state government in the US. The RPS programs have been adopted by 29 states and apply to half of the national electricity market. The staple of any RPS progra...

  • Pick nearly any state in the union and likely it has a large swath of rural area and population. Even California, which is rarely thought of as a “rural state,” is still physically more than half rural, with about four million residents living in tho...

  • One of the most contentious battles of this year’s legislative session was AB 5, with labor and gig economy companies duking out over the definition of who is an employee and who is an independent contractor. In this battle over the “new economy” and...

  • In the early days of the pandemic lockdowns, San Francisco Mayor London Breed declared a temporary moratorium on evictions of small and mid-size businesses “due to a loss of income related to lost revenue or other economic impacts caused by the COVID...

  • A Sign the ESG Movement Is Too Big to Ignore: There’s Backlash In the waning days of the Trump administration, several agencies are pushing back on the notion that corporations should prioritize anything other than profits. By  Peter Coy, December 22...

  • About the same time two of California’s largest cities were named among the seven worst-run municipalities in the country, we learn that the state’s — and the country’s — largest county had the worst population outflow in the U.S. in 2018. The livin’...

  • It’s been 45 years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke – the case that opened the door to “diversity” admissions at America’s colleges and universities.  What’s happened since this landmark ...

  • Watch our new animated video to learn how breaking down barriers in state insurance adjuster licensing could speed up response times for disaster claims and everyday claims, lower costs, and provide job opportunities. It’s based off of Wayne Wi...

  • On July 29, California’s Attorney General Jerry Brown said he will sue to block a proposed water-bottling operation in Northern California, unless its effects on global warming are evaluated. Nestlé Waters North America wants to pump 200 million gall...

  • We are often critical of the way Gov. Jerry Brown governs and the ideas that he proposes. He too often leans on the progressive playbook. But we’ve not been afraid to say that he’s right when he’s right, and today he’s right. The governor is......

  • Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2018-19 budget proposal is projecting a $6.1 billion surplus by July 1, 2019, further evidence that the taxpayers of California have been overcharged. But there will be no rebates. Brown said at his press conference Wednesday that,...

  • At long last, Gov. Newsom and Democratic leaders have reached a budget agreement.  Now lawmakers will race to pass the final legislation as the clock ticks down toward the June 30th deadline for the Gov. to sign a balanced budget. For many days, News...

  • On Monday, Gov. Newsom announced via press release that he had signed the 2020-21 state budget. Naturally, much of the budget press coverage typically focuses on the debate between the Governor and the Legislature and the total state spending picture...

  • Last week, the center of the budget universe moved upstairs at the State Capitol as budget subcommittees in the Senate and Assembly held hearings to explore all aspects of Gov. Newsom’s plan to close the budget deficit he pegs at $54 billion. A few i...

  • Home ownership provides basic financial literacy, drives wealth creation, and increases free cash flow for individuals and families.  However, it can be difficult to differentiate between having surplus cash and wealth.   Having surplus cash is havin...

  • One such environmental policy under question is the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32) which was signed into law in 2006. The law attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a cap and trade program. The Global Warming Solutions Act is the la...

  • On the second business day after the state’s higher minimum wage took effect, employers in Los Angeles County had another weight dropped on them. The County Board of Supervisors approved a $5 an hour increase in “front-line” workers’ wages. It applie...

  • Last month we covered the story of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors deciding it was within the scope of their duties to reward pandemic “front-line” workers with other people’s money. As we noted then, Long Beach was considering a similar ...

  • Two new regulations suggest that California leads the nation in mandates that inconvenience its residents while gaining little for the environment. First, consider the California Energy Commission’s unanimous vote Wednesday to effectively ban m...

  • One of my all-time favorite shows is “The McLaughlin Group.” I used to love watching Dr. McLaughlin spar over the years with the likes of Pat Buchanan, Eleanor Clift, Clarence Page, Freddy “the Beadle” Barnes, Mor-ton Kondracke, the late great Jack G...

  • What’s in President Trump’s tax returns?  It’s a mystery that has stumped cable television pundits since he refused to release them during the 2016 campaign.  At times, the furor has been so high that I’m surprised that Matlock or Jessica Fletcher we...

  • I have spent my entire 35 year professional life developing and implementing energy policies vital to our state. So it pains me to now see California taking an unfortunate misstep: embracing participation in the Western Climate Initiative. WCI, devel...

  • Most of the California business community is at the mercy of California’s progressive state legislature. It is easy to forget, especially with Silicon Valley pumping out inflated IPOs, that small businesses are the backbone of the economy. The U.S. S...

  • Earlier this year, Governor Gavin Newsom proposed a so-called “data dividend” because, he says, “California’s consumers should also be able to share in the wealth that is created from their data…” The Governor provided almost no details then, and few...

  • Even though the state has slipped in the rankings over the past several years, California is still an innovation hub with an economy that is firmly grounded in innovative industries from videogames to internet, and technology hardware to movies. Ther...

  • A Washington newspaper has reported that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the socialist from Vermont, has received 300 endorsements from California. That goes a long to explaining why things keep going wrong in the state. “The campaign released endorsements...

  • Nearly three dozen bills intended to revise or repeal Assembly Bill 5, which restricts workers’ freedom and could potentially kill the burgeoning gig economy, have been introduced in Sacramento. Here is some of the latest, and most important, news ab...

  • The California State Assembly is refusing to provide the names of assemblymen who voted to ban oil recovery off the coast of Santa Barbara. Twenty-eight members supported the ban, but their votes cannot be found in the official state database. Assemb...

  • The California Air Resources Board has set a powerful regulatory force in motion by approving an outline for meeting the carbon dioxide reductions required by a state law aimed at combating global warming. The outline, known as a “scoping plan,” is r...

  • Earlier this month, The New York Times gave space to a climate activist who argued that policymakers must “Free California of Fossil Fuels.” Six days later, the Times’ California Today feature covered the state’s “Move to Mandate 100% Carbon-Free Ele...

  • There are no fortune tellers at PRI, but it isn’t hard to foresee what is likely to happen in California in 2018. First, it’s a sure bet that the Legislature will pass a boxcar load of unneeded, heavy-handed and odious policies when lawmakers reconve...

  • Last week, an investment management and advisory firm comprised of professors from California State University, Sacramento, released a report attempting to estimate the costs to small businesses – and therefore to California’s economy – of implementi...

  • California’s 2018 crime data has been released and the news is mostly encouraging, though a bit mixed. The violent crime rate is slightly down (1.5%) after growing for three straight years, and four of the last seven, according to data released this ...

  • The planned early release of 76,000 inmates from California prisons is a big meal not well digested by prosecutors across the state. “Allowing the early release of the most dangerous criminals, shortening sentences as much as 50%, impacts crime victi...

  • California officials want to eventually force everyone on the road out of their gasoline- and diesel-powered automobiles and into electric vehicles. But it’s a radical shift that can’t be decreed into existence overnight. So, expect a boost in the go...

  • The fight between Nestlé and the California State Water Resources Control Board finally bubbled over last month after years of finger-pointing. In an April 23, 2021 letter, the board  ordered that Nestlé  cease-and-desist “unauthorized diversions and...

  • The state of California, which can’t keep the lights on thanks to political interference in energy generation, nor build enough homes because government has poisoned the housing market, is going into the pharmaceutical manufacturing business. But the...

  • Californians who are struggling to make ends meet during these tough economic times are going to be in for sticker shock come July 1:  gas prices will rise yet again. What’s behind the increase, you ask?  It’s not due to rising demand as people begin...

  • As California’s unemployment rate hovers above 12 percent, even the state’s Democratic leaders – notorious for regulating, taxing and complaining about California’s business community – are talking about jobs. They are championing t...

  • If you were able to make it through California Governor Gavin Newsom’s almost three-hour budget briefing, you’ve probably been following the enormous funding proposals included in the $222.2 billion budget estimate. You can save 167 minute of your ti...

  • Sacramento Democrats have drawn up a Green New Deal for California, which, the public is being told, is necessary to prevent a global warming crisis. The usual empty talking points that are poor substitutes for climate facts have been strung together...

  • Californians regard themselves as members of the environmentally aware aristocracy. Polls consistently show that large numbers of Golden Staters agonize over Gaia’s plight. An SFGate headline last year that declared “Californians put high priority on...

  • As part of its May Revise rollout, the Newsom administration announced $5.1 billion for water infrastructure and drought response. While the announcement invests on funding better data collection, continuing the implementation of Sustainable Groundwa...

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom will not after all appoint a homelessness czar, as he had promised he would during the 2018 campaign. Now, if he would just disband the homelessness task force that was formed in the spring. While running for governor last year as t...

  • Advocates have fought to make California a part-time legislature for a while now. Strangely, the coronavirus pandemic has given these advocates what they want in the interest of public health. The California State Legislature has largely been sidelin...

  • A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece on the National Council on Teacher Quality’s excellent research on California’s failed teacher quality policies, and now the organization has followed up by releasing a new analysis showing that California is AWOL whe...

  • More than a half-century ago, in one of the most famous movie lines of all time, Dustin Hoffman character Benjamin Braddock, fresh out of college, received some unsolicited career advice. “I want to say one word to you. Just one word,” Mr. McGuire to...

  • Tax reform has taken center stage in Washington. Just last week, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the House’s tax reform proposal, while the Senate released its own tax reform proposal. If you picked up a newspaper in California, you would...

  • Water policy is one of those topics that can leave newcomers and casual listeners feeling inundated. The regulations that govern state and federal water policy are laced with a flood of acronyms and terms, with a steady gush of changes to state water...

  • There’s a new target in California’s war on plastics: those handy bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion that hotels hand out to guests. Assembly Bill 1162, approved by the Natural Resources Committee and surely to get the same favora...

  • Not often does Sacramento get it right in the eyes of the defenders of liberty. A bill allowing athletes at public and private California colleges to earn money from endorsements, however, is likely to earn their approval. Senate Bill 206, the Fair P...

  • California may soon become the first state to mandate solar panels be installed on all new homes, apartments, and condominiums. The California Energy Commission passed a building code regulation requiring all homes constructed in 2020 or later to hav...

  • Californians have recently endured increasingly aggressive wildfires, rolling power outages, and smoke-filled air for days.  Unless the state government changes course, we can add water shortages to this list. According to the U.S. Geological Survey,...

  • Another national list, another nearly rock-bottom ranking for California. It’s become too predictable. When WalletHub, a prolific producer of lists, says that California is 48th among the states on “taxpayer return on investment” (forget for the mome...

  • The California state motto is “Eureka,” Greek for “I have found it.” Says State Symbols USA, “famed Greek mathematician Archimedes is said to have exclaimed ‘Eureka!’ when he finally discovered a method for determining the purity of gold.” The motto ...

  • California policymakers have indicated that when the state converts to a renewables-only energy framework in 2045, wind and sun will be the only sources permitted. Categorical renewables such as hydroelectric power and nuclear will not be considered....

  • It would be neither profound nor unique to note that the California dream, immortalized by John and Michelle Phillips’ famed lyrics, ain’t what it used to be. It would be nothing more than a mere statement of a fact which is well-known but neverthele...

  • In June 2011, a group of Republican lawmakers gathered at a Ford dealership in downtown Sacramento for a celebratory press conference. They were gathered to celebrate what they were calling, “Freedom from Higher Taxes Day,” the day when temporary tax...

  • While visiting yet another charred part of California last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he was “a little bit exhausted that we have to continue to debate this issue. This a climate damn emergency.” It’s a statement he can make confident that few of C...

  • It’s widely known that the California bullet train will cost far more than promised, carry fewer passengers at higher fares than predicted, and is more than a decade behind schedule. Add to this another significant flaw that has received little atten...

  • Voters will be asked to decide on many important ballot propositions on November 3 with rent control, the future of independent contractors, and data privacy among the most impactful issues on the ballot. One proposition that voters may overlook is P...

  • Viewers of President Biden’s speech to Congress last week may have been struck by size of the trillions in new federal spending the President outlined in his speech.  In advance of the President’s speech, Democrats in the California Legislature had a...

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers have made it clear they believe rent control is one of the solutions to California’s housing shortage. According to the Los Angeles Times, an agreement announced late on the Friday evening before the Labor Day weekend ...

  • December is about half gone, and, as the Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz once sang, “it’s getting cold in California.” In another song from the same 1996 album Duritz also sang that it’s been “a long December and there’s reason to believe may...

  • California’s Great Blackout of 2019 has begun as the lights keep going out for millions across the state’s northern stretches. What should be the past now seems to be the future. Pacific Gas and Electric began shutting down power early the morning of...

  • Environment & Climate News (Heartland Institute), April 1, 2009 The California State Lands Commission has rejected an agreement by industry and environmental groups that would have allowed environmentally friendly oil production off the coast of...

  • Even after all the spending cuts and state worker furlough days, the state continues to be short on cash. The Assembly’s vote against the offshore drilling lease is troubling because it seems to lack any acknowledgment of California’s dire position b...

  • The California state Senate has passed and sent to the Assembly a bill to ban the use of food packaging containing perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Senate Bill 1313 would ban persons and companies from manufacturing...

  • Last month the D.C. Court of Appeals settled, for now, the question of how much freedom consumers will be guaranteed to make their internet experience the one they want. The Court upheld the current Federal Communication Commission’s Restoring Intern...

  • Since 2011, the California State Legislature has been itching to bring back redevelopment agencies. Governor Jerry Brown’s nixing of the 70-year-old program scored the California state budget several billion dollars during the Great Recession in 2011...

  • The results of the 2019 National Assessment for Educational Progress, often called the “Nation’s Report Card,” came out recently and California’s scores once again tanked, with one of the likely causes being the national Common Core standards and ali...

  • EPA stresses national solution to national issue (Chicago, Illinois – January 3, 2008) On Wednesday, January 2, California, along with 15 other states, sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, alleging EPA unlawfully rejected California&#...

  • It didn’t take long for a California Supreme Court decision to start claiming victims. Bottle & Barlow, a “get loose stay sharp” joint on trendy R Street in Sacramento, where a gentleman can sip whisky and also be stylishly shorn, has lost its en...

  • Last week, the California Supreme Court heard the case Cal Fire Local 2881 v. CalPERS which challenged the 2013 law (the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act or PEPRA) that eliminated state employees’ ability to add up to five years of emp...

  • California’s Air Resources Board has approved a landmark rule mandating a statewide cut in greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels through 2020. The sweeping regulation targets carbon emissions from the production and burning of gasoline a...

  • While California’s teacher unions are winning expensive battles on the strike lines and are flexing their political muscle in Sacramento, new research shows that state teacher-quality policies are failing to ensure that every public-school classroom ...

  • Just days after signing legislation committing the state to 100 percent renewable sources for electricity, Gov. Jerry Brown hosted a grandiose climate summit in San Francisco. Noticeably absent from the conference was even the smallest dose of health...

  • What does it say when members of Congress from elsewhere are more serious about saving the state from future wildfire disasters than many of California’s own politically connected activists? More than 4 million acres have burned so far in this year’s...

  • California, the Los Angeles Times recently reported, is building a “non-plastic future.” The state has outlawed or restricted single-use plastic bags, plastic drinking straws, and plastic cutlery. Future targets: plastic detergent bottles, unattached...

  • “If I am elected, the bald will grow thick hair.” Alas, I am not a candidate for anything, and so the bald will have to continue their suffering in silence. And, frankly, were I campaigning for a position of public trust, I would lose badly,......

  • What happens when environmental fashion collides with a state’s desperate need for jobs and economic growth? That question will be put to the test when Californians vote November 2 on a ballot measure that would suspend the Golden State’s...

  • Sacramento hasn’t yet outlawed gasoline- and diesel-driven automobiles. But it’s on the agenda. In the meantime, the state remains committed to former Gov. Jerry Brown’s goal of flooding California roads with zero-emissions vehicles. The transition, ...

  • Key lawmakers are now promoting California’s energy and global warming policies as a model for the federal government and other States to follow. Thomas Tanton’s talk will review California’s policies and show that they have had significant costs as ...

  • As California burns, Governor Gavin Newsom fiddles – with California’s climate change goals. In response to record-breaking wildfires, the Governor announced that California must accelerate its goal of reaching 100 percent green electricity by 2045. ...

  • Recently, I gave a seminar presentation on my research on underperforming regular public schools in middle-class and more affluent neighborhoods in California, which allowed me to do some updates based on the most recent data. The seminar, sponsored ...

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  • If approved by the California electorate in two weeks, Proposition 23 would suspend the implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (“AB32”) until the state unemployment rate declines to 5.5% or less for four con...

  • Last week, I had the chance to see the new movie “The Greatest Showman” about P.T. Barnum and how his dreams to set up his famous circus became a reality.  Hugh Jackman and the very entertaining cast deliver a crowd-pleasing and empowering performanc...

  • If someone tells you that you can get something for nothing, you might ask that person if that’s a subprime mortgage security he or she is selling — or whether they work for the California Air Resources Board. The board’s new “economic” study b...

  • On Friday, the Senate achieved the nearly-impossible and passed long-overdue tax reform legislation. While the legislation will surely be changed in the conference committee, whatever final legislation emerges will provide tax relief for many America...

  • Outside a few conspiracy theorists, no one believes the COVID-19 lockdowns are a test run for eventually shuttering economic sectors to mitigate global warming. That said, the climate alarmists have surely been watching the public’s reaction, and the...

  • The flood of lousy legislation that has poured out of Sacramento for the last two decades or so truly astonishes in its volume. As fourth-rate as the lawmaking has been, though, nothing has been worse than Assembly Bill 5, an existential threat to bo...

  • Following a 2020 summer of blackouts, the darkest since early this century, California is hoping that it can avoid replays in the future by investing in batteries. Big batteries. That are expensive. And come with significant energy storage limitation...

  • California has lived on the trope of being the hub of technology startups and innovation for decades. California’s economic success has long been touted and celebrated, none more so than the technology gold rush in the Bay Area. But despite Californi...

  • California’s runaway housing prices caused by a policy-created shortage of homes will be getting a tailwind in a little more than a year. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2020, every home built in the state, including condominiums and low-rise apartments, will h...

  • If there was any doubt about the economic success of state-mandated green programs, it was erased this week after a state Senate hearing about the future of alternate fuels. By the end of the four-hour session, it was clear that environmental special...

  • With California just weeks away from a full re-opening, the state has sent out a small army of people who are “knocking on doors in order to get as many Californians vaccinated as possible,” the Sacramento Bee reported last week. Did no one think thi...

  • When it comes to saving the planet, some of the most popular weapons are policies to promote energy efficiency. As Tim Greeff, deputy legislative director of the League of Conservation Voters recently quipped, “Efficiency is always the cheapest, clea...

  • Every Californian wants to conserve energy and see cleaner air and water in the Golden State. But in their quest to safeguard the state’s environment for future generations, Sacramento policymakers have put in place an overzealous regulatory scheme t...

  • When asked which factors influence their decisions about locating their businesses in California, the top concerns, according to a group of surveyed executives, are housing and real estate costs. No surprise, there. This state’s housing crunch is an ...

  • Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, is one of the more active members of the California Legislature in terms of pursuing bills in hopes of easing the state’s housing crisis. But with that drive comes controversy. As he did last year, Wi...

  • The Sacramento Bee has come up with one of the more interesting lists we’ve seen lately. It’s a catalog, via video, of “some of the most left-leaning laws that have come out of Sacramento since the Democrats” — who are enjoying “their biggest l...

  • California’s coronavirus pandemic lockdown isn’t over. There was even a partial reversal of the state’s reopening on the first day of July when Gov. Gavin Newsom hit the “dimmer switch.” But not much can come between California and its plastic bag ba...

  • Step one in any recovery program is to admit that the problem exists. And, make no mistake about it, California’s public pensions are addicted to debt. Solving this debt crisis requires political courage to implement fundamental reforms, which is why...

  • The number of Californians certified for unemployment insurance is now at 1.6 million compared to October last year before the pandemic, when just 260,000 Californians received unemployment checks. Going into the holidays, a heart-breaking one in 10 ...

  • If there was one constant in the national media coverage of Super Tuesday, it was criticism of California’s election system. More than one observer commented on the fact that California’s heavy use of vote-by-mail ballots meant that hundreds of thous...

  • California’s mandate to transition to an all-renewables electricity portfolio has always seemed like a fantasy. A just-released report “charting” the path to 100% clean power does nothing but confirm those suspicions. A joint summary released March 1...

  • Last week, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s office (LAO) released its fiscal outlook for 2021, which is traditionally the start of the debate over next year’s state budget. Unexpectedly, California finds itself sitting on a $26 billion windfall ...

  • California is proving once again that it’s the worst place to do business in America. This time, the state is attempting to collect up to eight years of back taxes from Amazon sellers whose products were temporarily stored in Amazon warehouses throug...

  • It was just a matter of time. With cities around the state banning natural gas connections in new homes and commercial buildings, outlawing gas stations was bound to happen. And it has. Members of the Petaluma City Council have said there will be no ...

  • It comes as no surprise that a recent Gallup poll showed that Americans now believe that the biggest problem in the country are its politicians (29 percent), not the pandemic (22 percent). While tens of millions are frustratingly looking for a COVID-...

  • The final gavel fell last week on the 2020 legislative session.  Cut short by seven weeks due to the coronavirus, lawmakers were forced to take a backseat to Gov. Newsom, who made use of his wide-ranging emergency powers to lock down businesses to st...

  • As the Barack Obama administration takes the reins on energy policy, Californians such as Lawrence-Berkeley National Lab Director Steven Chu, ascending to Department of Energy secretary, and Rep. Henry Waxman, becoming chair of the House Energy &#038...

  • The coronavirus has hit Southern California especially hard.  With businesses forced to close their doors to customers, many have shuttered for good unable to handle the sharp downturn in income.  As a result, more than 3.6 million Californians filed...

  • Last month, California achieved another first – first in the nation to implement statewide vote-by-mail due to the coronavirus pandemic. There will still be voting locations for those with disabilities or who need language help, but all active voters...

  • A recently-released UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) poll generated headlines before Thanksgiving for its finding that, if it came up for a vote again, California would again vote to approve the landmark property tax relief measure...

  • In an election result that astonished the country, Californians voted down an initiative that would have returned racial preferences to state college admissions, hiring, and contracting.  In a margin of 56% to 44%, one of the most diverse and deepest...

  • Last month, Californians may very well have begun the process of saving their state, reversing a move by the state legislature. They voted by a large margin via Proposition 22 to preserve the ability of people to pursue flexible working arrangements ...

  • New York Times, August 3, 2009 Californians’ eagerness to battle global warming seems to be cooling a bit: The latest survey on the state’s environmental attitudes, released on Wednesday, showed that 47 percent consider the threat of global warming v...

  • People frequently argue that California should be the model for the nation’s energy use, because it has managed to keep per capita energy consumption flat over the past couple of decades. Not so fast, says Tom Tanton of the Pacific Research Ins...

  • CalPERS and CalSTRS – the two largest public employee pension funds in both California and the nation –just announced their annual investment returns for the 2018-19 fiscal year.  Once again, it’s not good news for California taxpayers. Both funds re...

  • The COVID-19 recession has fueled volatility in the financial markets.  Investment portfolios saw sharp drops in March and April but have rebounded recently as the economy opened up in some areas. This volatility has negatively impacted public pensio...

  • When rumors began circulating in late February that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was about to issue an executive order to study options for a peripheral canal that would divert water from the Sacramento River around the delicate Sacramen...

  • Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2009 No: Alternatives Are Too Expensive The U.S. and Western Europe can point to a remarkable achievement over the past 40 years: significant reductions in air pollution with only a modest effect on our economic gro...

  • The public got a look at the 2,702-page federal infrastructure bill on Sunday, giving the country more details on how the Biden administration will tackle broadband infrastructure investment. The $65 billion being doled out to states for broadband co...

  • Last week, PRI held its inaugural “California Ideas in Action” policy conference in Sacramento. A capacity crowd came together near the State Capitol for a half-day conference exploring how free-market ideas can address California’s most pressing cha...

  • SACRAMENTO – California sea lions sometimes swim some 90 miles up the Sacramento River, passing the state capitol on their journey. A local fisherman, Mr. Larry Legans, has been accused of shooting a sea lion for consuming the fish he caught. Mr. Leg...

  • If you haven’t been living under a rock, you know that California is currently in the grips of a worsening housing affordability crisis. I take that back—if you’re living under a rock, you’re probably acutely aware of this fact. Before the pandemic, ...

  • Speaker Pelosi and her allies in Congress received significant pollical pushback for using the COVID-19 crisis to enact their budget wish list in the $2 billion “phase 3” stimulus. Recently, Rowena Itchon wrote on Right by the Bay about tens of milli...

  • Oh Canada, here I come! Well, not really. At least not permanently. This week I’m in Montreal and Quebec City for summer vacation. Before leaving, I decided to check out how the U.S. compares economically to Canada, and there’s no better source than ...

  • Rightly or wrongly, Global Warming offers disaster for our planet. Countering it has become a consuming concern. Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) focus on carbon dioxide. “A reduction in carbon emissions has become an end in itself,” observes Bjor...

  • In a review of the claims made by the Western Climate Initiative, the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston identified several flaws made by the seven-state consortium, calling into question claimed cost savings ranging between $11.4 ...

  • Encore Online (Wilmington, NC), June 29, 2009 While most Americans are distracted by the situation in Iran and the vital current healthcare debates, Barack Obama and his friends in Congress are attempting to rush through one of the most draconian rea...

  • Download the PDF When the Legislature declared a moratorium on cities enacting soda taxes, it felt like a win for freedom and a pushback of interventionism. But the busybodies never give up and they plow a fertile field in California, which has no ri...

  • DOWNLOAD THE PDF As if they didn’t have enough to shocks in their lives already, Californians recently woke up to find that Governor Newsom and the Legislature had defunded schoolchildren in the state budget.  But the children are now fighting back a...

  • Download the Brief Introduction Pacific Gas and Electric of San Francisco began in October 2019 a series of electricity blackouts called “public safety power shutoffs.” The objective was to prevent its equipment from starting wildfires during hot, dr...

  • It is no coincidence that California’s housing prices began to diverge from the rest of the country in 1970 – the very year that the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) was enacted. According to California’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst,...

  • Download the PDF In late May, a panel of federal judges resurrected a couple of previously dismissed climate change lawsuits filed by San Francisco and Oakland, and also allowed six other community-based suits to go forward. The plaintiffs aren’t con...

  • DOWNLOAD THE PDF One of the several responses to the death of George Floyd has been activists’ demand to defund police departments. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was one of the first mayors to surrender to the mob and pledge that he would move a......

  • Download the PDF California’s “bullet” train to nowhere keeps going — nowhere. Unless tearing down a bridge just to rebuild it is somewhere. Construction of an overpass near Fresno was scrapped late last year—yes, we’re learning about this just...

  • DOWNLOAD PDF California is the most fun state in the country. So says the website WalletHub. It can’t be fun for everyone, though. Many would say living in California is a miserable existence. If the standard for fun is measured by the vast opportuni...

  • Download the PDF California, not West Virginia, not Mississippi, has the highest poverty rate among the 50 states. Blame policymakers who, rather than solving the problem, have inflamed it. In fact, California officials have gone out of their way to ...

  • DOWNLOAD THE PDF Keeping track of the many informative lists in which California ranks at or near the bottom is a wearying task. It is also discouraging. This state, once the envy of all others, is losing its luster because policymakers continue to t...

  • DOWNLOAD THE BRIEF California lawmakers won’t give up on their crusade to force everyone in the state into electric cars (before eventually removing us out of our cars altogether). That electric vehicles neither sell nor perform up to reasonable expe...

  • DOWNLOAD PDF Even before it was a state, California was the New World’s new world. Everything that the Western Hemisphere promised was condensed and amplified in what became the 31st state. Not only was it arguably the greatest land of opportunity in...

  • DOWNLOAD THE PDF It was inevitable. California lawmakers’ assault on choice continues in 2019. The plastic-bag ban already in effect is not enough to satisfy their appetite for micromanaging others’ lives. After successfully outlawing single-use plas...

  • Download the PDF The rest of the country wasn’t surprised when California recently considered becoming the first state in the country to tax text messages. It almost seems as if there is a group of unelected bureaucrats that does nothing but cloister...

  • DOWNLOAD THE PDF Jerry Brown left office in January as one of the most popular governors in California history. He also left successor Gavin Newsom with a few headaches. Among the more prominent unresolved issues are the high-speed rail project, the ...

  • Download the Brief California is destined for yet another energy crisis, which, like the drought that’s been scorching the state, will be man-made. Shortages can be avoided, but that will require lawmakers to think in ways that few have engaged in in...

  • Download the PDF They are not as unpopular in California as President Trump is, but private prisons are becoming a preferred target of politicians. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has a large blue-plate special of problems to solve, is at the forefront of a c...

  • DOWNLOAD THE PDF In Gov. Jerry Brown’s California, all is nearly well. He led off his State of the State address with an assurance that “California is prospering.” He bragged about jobs created and personal income growth on his watch, and congratulat...

  • Download PDF Originally published in PRI’s Impact magazine, Summer 2018 An article that posits California as the model for the country’s future recently picked up some traffic, thanks to an affirming tweet from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who called it ...

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  • DOWNLOAD PDF Not too terribly long ago, the Legislative Analyst’s Office said that to meet demand, each year the state needed 100,000 new housing units in addition to the 100,000 to 140,000 that are expected to be built annually, an impossibility in ...

  • Download the Brief Sacramento’s response to President Trump’s Inauguration Day was to release the latest version of its heavy-handed plan to stop global warming. The state’s updated approach to environmental policy will be about as effective in stopp...

  • READ THE PDF For a large majority of Americans, their home is their most valuable asset, while also serving as a major portion of their retirement portfolio. For others, owning their home provides a source of stability and community for themselves an...

  • This legislative session, California could take an important step toward creating a true water market to meet the needs of cities, farmers and the environment with the Open and Transparent Water Data Act (Assembly Bill 1755). It’s hard to solve a pro...

  • Open the PDF California lawmakers have had several chances to handcuff payday lenders, and in each instance, they were either unable to, or chose not to. Naturally, some see this as a series of missed opportunities. We understand the reaction. But th...

  • DOWNLOAD PDF Two waves have rolled through California in 2021. One so hot that high temperature records were set throughout the state. The other so chilling that stores have shortened their hours and even closed altogether to avoid it. By now, the vi...

  • DOWNLOAD THE PDF Flippy, California’s and the world’s first automated fast-food grill master, has been fired. But after a few tweaks, he will be rehired. The same can’t be said about the humans who will lose their jobs to robots due to the state’s mi...

  • Nearly two decades ago, before “ban everything” fever was sweeping through California, San Francisco committed to eliminating a staple of human progress: the modern landfill. The idea, concocted in 2002, was to reach a “zero waste” existence by 2020,...

  • DOWNLOAD THE PDF There is currently a trend toward misunderstanding or misrepresenting science, and it starts early. A grade-school teacher asked the class whether a whale is a fish or a mammal. One boy raised his hand and offered, “Let’s take a vote...

  • Los Angeles County has adopted a “sustainability” program that officials expect “to enhance the well-being of every community in the county while reducing damage to the natural environment and adapting to the changing climate.” This is considered sma...

  • DOWNLOAD THE PDF   California is now the first state to require plastic beverage containers to contain a minimum content of recycled material. A step forward? Hardly. The bill, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 24, the day after he issued an ...

  • The backlash over California’s Assembly Bill 5, legislation that robs workers of their freedom, was likely not expected by lawmakers. They’re accustomed to an electorate that agreeably goes along with whatever policies they impose, no matter how inva...

  • Download the PDF California has declared itself a sanctuary state, where illegal immigrants are sheltered from federal law. The urge to “resist” President Trump runs so red hot in California that Gov. Jerry Brown pardoned two immigrants from Cambodia...

  • Housing affordability is once again at the top of Sacramento Democrats’ policy agenda this session.  Several bills have already been proposed to try and bring down state housing costs. Addressing the state’s housing crisis is now running into conflic...

  • San Francisco—Many policies aiming to “green” the American car culture may do just the opposite, according to a new study from the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a California-based free market think tank. Car-tastrophe: How federal policy can help...

  • This past week, Politico reported that our fellow think tankers (albeit left-leaning) at the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute were forming unions.  I assumed that these think tanks were breaking ground, but it appears that they’re just p...

  • Drought: Transbay Pipeline, Desalination Plant Could Boost Marin’s Dwindling Water Supply By John Ramos CORTE MADERA (KPIX) — Communities across the state are desperately searching for ways to make their dwindling water supplies last. In Marin County...

  • Data privacy is one of the defining public policy debates of the new decade. As other countries push data privacy regulation heralded as global standards, California is headed in the other direction with the rollout of the state’s Consumer Privacy Ac...

  • Unions have long had government-protected privileges that no other institution or organization has. They hold monopolies as exclusive collective bargaining units; can collect dues before paychecks are even issued (government is the only other institu...

  • As the United States tries to reduce emissions and become more energy independent, energy efficiency will likely play a major part in achieving these goals. But should the government be incentivizing consumers to lead more efficient lifestyles? Durin...

  • When I was a child, my father took me fishing on the Detroit River, where we caught plenty of perch and silver bass, but no whitefish. I might catch one in 2008 because whitefish are reproducing in the Detroit River for the first time since......

  • This year is the 40th anniversary of the Cuyahoga River fire, an event that has come to symbolize environmental degradation. The current condition of the river symbolizes something else worth recalling in the wake of Earth Day — environmental i...

  • This week marks a milestone for PRI’s weekly “Next Round” podcast as we celebrate our 100th episode. When we first started the podcast in July 2017, our podcast had a different name, “Another Round with PRI” (I won’t go into the story of why we......

  • As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, we’re also preparing for an overload of turkey, pumpkin pie, and relatives. Thanksgiving is about more than getting a food coma.  It’s about getting together with your loved ones and giving thank...

  • That sound you heard on the Fourth of July was not bands playing “God Bless America” or other patriotic songs. No, it was people complaining on social media about fireworks being set off in their neighborhoods. Where I live in Sacramento, you can buy...

  • On this Labor Day, we salute California’s hard-working men and women with a much-deserved three-day weekend while enjoying the unofficial end of the summer season. This Labor Day, we celebrate the fact that California’s public employees who don’t wan...

  • We’ve recently said that Elon Musk’s tunnel-boring project could be the potential foundation of a hyperloop transportation system. But as is too often the case in California, a reasonable objective has been sidelined by outrage. Musk has abandoned th...

  • The state Senate held a joint informational hearing last month that, on the surface, looked to be a step forward for those who believe the California Environmental Quality Act needs reform, if not a top-to-bottom overhaul. But apparently the hearing ...

  • Recently, the Southern California Association of Governments voted on new housing development goals for the region for the coming decade.  Its vote requires cities and counties to make plans to zone for up to 1.34 million new homes by the end of the ...

  • By Daniel Kolkey It’s no coincidence that California’s housing prices began to diverge from the rest of the country in 1970 – the very year that the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) was enacted. According to California’s nonpartisan Legi...

  • Amid much fanfare, Major League Soccer last week announced that Sacramento has been awarded the 29th MLS franchise.  Attention now turns to building a new $252 million stadium in the downtown Sacramento railyards before the team’s launch in 2022. Unf...

  • In what has come to be called “Climategate,” emails hacked from a server at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia were leaked online in November 2009. These emails among prominent climate scientists included evidence that some ha...

  • If you’re a foodie like me, one of the worst parts of the Covid-19 pandemic has been not being able to go out to a great restaurant for lunch or dinner. It’s been sad to see many of my favorite restaurants here in Sacramento –......

  • San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin is no crime fighter. He’s among the new breed of decline-to-prosecute prosecutors whose elections have been funded by George Soros (and his political machine). The uber-wealthy agitator is determined to us...

  • It made headlines around the world last week when China purportedly announced a historic commitment to reduce its “carbon intensity” – the greenhouse gases it emits per unit of GDP. “China unveiled firm targets,” The Gua...

  • Political bias continues to increase in America’s classrooms and curricula.  Giving parents school-choice tools is the only real solution. In the current school year, there have been disturbing cases across the country of teachers imposing their anti...

  • Let’s take a quick look at a few of the environmental issues making news today, which include whether old coral formations in Mexico show a “catastrophic” rise in sea levels 12,000 years ago, and if so, what it might mean today. And more: Is consumpt...

  • California’s relatively mild climate means that, on average, our electricity bills are a smaller portion of our incomes relative to the rest of the country. But that doesn’t protect us from the increased costs of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, a...

  • If you spend more than 10 percent of your income on electricity, natural gas, and other household energy costs, then you are afflicted by energy poverty. It is a tragedy that forces some families to choose between keeping the lights on, or putting fo...

  • Energy poverty is a growing problem in San Diego’s working-class communities, and across California. If you spend more than 10 percent of your income on electricity, natural gas, and other household energy costs, then you are afflicted by energy pove...

  • More and more West Virginians are living in energy poverty today. If you spend more than 10 percent of your income on electricity, natural gas, and other household energy costs, then you are afflicted by energy poverty. It is a tragedy that forces so...

  • Yesterday the Assembly Appropriations Committee was scheduled to consider AB 2058, “Reducing Plastic Bags,” by Lloyd E. Levine, a Sherman Oaks Democrat, which imposes on consumers a recycling “fee” of $.25 per bag. The committee, and all Californians...

  • SACRAMENTO – Tomorrow the Assembly Appropriations Committee considers AB 2058, “Reducing Plastic Bags,” by Lloyd E. Levine, a Sherman Oaks Democrat, which imposes on consumers a recycling “fee” of $.25 per bag. The committee, and all Californians, sh...

  • Last June, then-Gov. Jerry Brown and Sacramento’s political leaders dropped a proposed tax on drinking water. But Gov. Gavin Newsom, following the California Way, apparently aims to bring it back. Newsom, the Los Angeles Times reported “has embraced ...

  • If the recent PPIC debate is any indication, expect this year’s race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction to be a close race with clear differences between the two candidates. Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond, wins the contest for most...

  • Organizers said the goal of the event, dubbed “Focus the Nation,” was to move past preaching to the green choir, to reach a captive audience of students in many fields who might not otherwise tune in to climate change issues.” The L...

  • If the ‘progressives’ get their way on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it will be ordinary Americans who suffer, says John Entine Let’s call it the black box syndrome: making revolutionary changes or new products without any real handle on what ha...

  • (1) The Discount Rate. Economists give wildly different estimates of the “social cost of carbon” and hence the “optimal” tax on an additional unit of emissions. These differences are not primarily due to the assumptions about climate systems or human...

  • A recent study of paleoclimate, the results of which appear in the August issue of Nature Geoscience, finds that today’s climate models do not accurately predict the most similar previous episode of climate warming in the geologic record. California ...

  • And so I asked the question on the minds of millions of my fellow concerned citizens: How can I get my snout into this trough? Easy: I buy a small car qualifying for the $4,500, and keep it for a few months until the cash-for-clunkers......

  • The lights may soon go out in the Washington, DC metro area and other parts of the country due to environmental activist opposition to coal-fired power plants, energy analysts are warning. “Electric power has already become painfully expensive ...

  • First it was too hot, then it was too icy, now it causes cancer.  Thanks to a judge’s ruling last week, California coffee lovers may soon be seeing dire warnings about cancer risks in their favorite coffeehouses. But is concern for cancer really what...

  • Recently, headline after headline trumpeted that the College Board, which administers the SAT, eliminated students’ so-called “adversity score,” which was supposed to inform college admissions officials about the challenges students face or don’t fac...

  • State Analysis Paints Rosy Picture of Impact of CLEAR on Economy, Environment New analysis from the non-partisan Pacific Research Institute, a California-based free-market think tank, finds that Colorado’s proposed low emission vehicle standards woul...

  • Colorado officials are painting a rosy picture of the impact on the economy and the environment from its low emission vehicle standards’ known as the Colorado Low Emission Automobile Regulation, or CLEAR. State officials prepared an initial economic ...

  • The March primary election is a month away.  While we are already being bombarded with television advertising for the Democratic presidential race, there hasn’t been much discussion of ballot measures. That’s because in 2011, Democrats in the Legisla...

  • Back in 2012, I wrote a book entitled Obama’s Education Takeover that warned about the harmful impact that the Common Core national education standards would have on student achievement, especially in California.  Now a just released study confirms m...

  • Texas’ energy debacle during this past winter has led to a great deal of introspection regarding which energy market structure is the most appropriate. Most analysts would agree that energy market regulations should facilitate access to affordable an...

  • A new study commissioned by Governor John Kitzhaber underscores the need for competitive, rather than restrictive, markets for wood and timber products harvested in Oregon. Existing building policies for sustainable wood products stifle, rather than ...

  • Thanks to a stormy winter, California’s long drought is over says state government. But California’s man-made drought will continue as long as Sacramento misallocates our water supply. Maybe it’s time to appeal to a higher but distant authority. When...

  • The battle over the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, and student athlete compensation has been brewing since California passed the Fair Pay to Play Act in 2019. Michigan became the sixth state to pass a similar bill. Meanwhile, the ...

  • A couple of Saturdays ago, I had to make a trip to my neighborhood Home Depot to pick up a few gardening supplies to do some work in the backyard. While looking for a replacement hose for my drip watering system (see, I am water......

  • Grocery shopping in California isn’t what it used to be. Traditionally, customers carried their items away in paper bags provided by the store through an unspoken, but well-established and always understood, contract between seller and buyer. But the...

  • Lecture from the Alworth Center for the Study of Peace and Justice, at The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota. Conventional Farming & Environmental Protection – by Amy Kaleita, Ph.D. Kaleita, who has a Ph.D. in agricultural engi...

  • Washington Post, October 1, 2009 Real Clear Politics, October 1, 2009 ReporterNews (Abilene, TX), September 30, 2009 Plateau in Temperatures Adds Difficulty to Task Of Reaching a Solution — New York Times, Sept. 23 WASHINGTON — In this he...

  • Tom Tanton [Senior Fellow, Energy Studies, Pacific Research Institute]: “The Copenhagen Climate Conference has concluded. The fanfare is over and world leaders have little to show for it. President Obama left the conference with hope that the c...

  • One of the intriguing reports to come out of the coronavirus pandemic is the partisan divide — not just among lawmakers — but even rank and file voters. Recent polls have consistently shown that Republicans are less concerned about the co...

  • Year to date, the Dow Index of the U.S.’s 30 largest companies is down 14 percent; the S&P 500, which tracks 500 large-cap companies, is down 8 percent; and the NASDAQ, an electronic system that trades many of the world’s fastest growing companie...

  • Even as House members consider themselves non-essential workers (they’ve decided to vote from home), it hasn’t stopped some lawmakers from coming up with bad ideas for the next stimulus package, including relief for states and municipalities with pre...

  • Roughly 30 million people have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the nation’s economy.  Economists estimate that the unemployment rate now ranges from 15 to 20 percent – numbers not seen since the Great Depression...

  • The sight of criminals running free in our streets gets the blood up. But while the looting and violence, as ugly as they are, will decelerate, there’s a relatively invisible hand of crime that has the potential to cause harm on a long-term basis. At...

  • Allusions to George Orwell’s 1984 are often overdone, but the applicability is simply too great to ignore. After all, how else do you refer to a proposed $2.7 trillion infrastructure package that spends only 16-cents on the dollar for infrastructure?...

  • According to the report, in recent months corn ethanol producers have faced a number of financial setbacks, including at least one highly visible bankruptcy. Although greater use of ethanol is mandated by federal law, the industry is suffering from o...

  • On Sept. 17, the California Air Resources Board released an economic analysis of their own implementation scheme for AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The analysis said, “not only will the economy grow by a similar amount as we move to...

  • Businesses in California could use some good news, but one wonders when — and sometimes if — any will ever come. At the same time, there seems to be no end to the bad news, at least when government authorities are involved. The most recen...

  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has told House Democrats that earmarks are coming back in 2021. According to Punchbowl News, which originally broke the scoop on earmarks, Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sen. Patrick Leahy – Congress’ lead appropriators – are...

  • With nearly 40 million people and more than 70,000 farms taking up nearly 25 million acres, California is always thirsty. It is, as well, mostly dry. Deserts make up one-fourth of the state and semi-arid land occupies up at least that much, if not mo...

  • When talking about the management of California’s power grid, people’s eyelids will surely grow heavy before you finish making your point. But how California’s power grid is managed is incredibly important.  Think back to 2001 and California’s electr...

  • Regular Right by the Bay readers know that I have written often about the Legislature’s efforts in recent years to change California’s elections rules for political advantage. The latest of these is a bill enacted in the final weeks of the most impor...

  • Ever since Democrats won control of the U.S. House of Representatives, many have speculated whether President Trump and Democrats be able to make a deal on something big. With Democrats saying that they aren’t afraid to use their newfound-subpoena po...

  • Last month, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger held an international climate summit to show local governments in other countries that greenhouse gas emissions can be cut, to the degree he wants, without harming the economy. This comes as the finan...

  • The U.S. Supreme Court recently rebuffed environmentalists in their bid to get the judiciary to intervene in the global-warming controversy by invoking the old common law of nuisance, as though global warming could be solved through an injunction. Bu...

  • A three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that California truckers who own and operate their own rigs have to be classified as employees rather than independent contractors. Will the 70,000 California drivers affected by the...

  • Tax hikes, especially in the state known for its extraordinarily heavy tax burden, should not be easily enacted. Yet the California Supreme Court has made the job much easier. California law previously required a two-thirds majority for the passage o...

  • Given a choice, would someone caught shoplifting rather make a voluntary arrangement with the victim to pay for their crime, or become involved with the police and courts? That’s a pointless question in California. There is no longer a choice. The ch...

  • Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on utilities companies being sued for emitting carbon dioxide. That the case has reached the Supreme Court indicates how confused our judicial system is on the subject of climate, but i...

  • Media reports that some California businesses have gone underground during the pandemic lockdown should surprise no one. When politicians ban activities, both those accepted by society and those considered less honorable, they drive them into black m...

  • In her March 25 Forbes editorial, Sally Pipes documented how the private sector is rising to the health challenges of the coronavirus. Whether it is Moderna launching clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine or Gilead Sciences investigating whether one...

  • It is basic Economics 101. Competitive markets create better outcomes than monopolists. Monopolists restrict supply and charge higher prices. Dynamically, monopolists face fewer incentives to create new products or improve how their products are made...

  • It’s been recently said that with Chesa Boudin as district attorney, San Francisco has two public defenders: Manohar Raju, the appointed public defender, and Boudin, the former public defender who critics might say acts more like a legal advocate for...

  • A new extensive report has just been released by one of our Blog Contributors: Tom Tanton. This report titled Top Ten Energy Myths offers insight into and facts on the myths that are permeated upon the public by the mainstream media. As an energy sup...

  • Much has been written about perhaps the wildest last night of the legislative session ever. For those who weren’t paying attention, all but one Republican senator was quarantined when Sen. Brian Jones tested positive for COVID-19 a few days prior, fo...

  • When presidential candidate Joe Biden began a campaign tour with the slogan, “No Malarkey” (a seeming oxymoron for a politician), the rallying cry was contradicted by his many apologies for past actions and positions. Had he fashioned his expedition ...

  • I have long adhered to the proposition that we should extend grace to our ideological opponents. In fact, when discussing fellow Americans, I reject wholesale the increasingly common language of combat in politics (e.g. political “enemies,” culture w...

  • We’re painting the roses red, Painting the roses red, And many a tear we shed, Because we know, They’ll cease to grow, In fact, they’ll soon be dead. And yet we go ahead, Painting the roses red Just like the characters in Alice in W...

  • SACRAMENTO – Legislators are more than six weeks past the constitutional deadline for passing a state budget, yet the state’s majority Democrats last week weren’t even holding budget hearings. Why bother? The state is $19 billion in the r...

  • The state of California is in the midst of a Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) cycle. It happens every eight years, and with the sixth cycle currently underway, you’ve no doubt seen headlines about it. For the uninitiated, it probably seems li...

  • In California, we seem to be living in the days of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” As Steve Milloy said last week, there’s water, water everywhere, but almost nary a drop to drink. California has “840 miles of coastline,” tweeted Milloy, the autho...

  • SAN FRANCISCO – A new poll from the California-based nonpartisan think tank, the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), shows that Americans overwhelmingly support innovative gene therapies, which change the focus of medicine from treating illnesses to cu...

  • We’ve heard it again and again, declarations from California’s progressive politicians on the need to attract “favored” industries to the state. And what are those favored industries? It’s an easy guess — tech, biotech, “clean” manufacturing, e...

  • The Laotian rock rat isn’t a rat at all. It’s a squirrel that walks upright on its hind legs and lives in limestone crevices rather than in trees. Based on the rock rat’s fossil record, scientists concluded that it went extinct 11 m...

  • A few weeks ago, a neighbor knocked on my door. “My windows were smashed last night, but nothing was stolen,” she explained, clearly stressed, “my Ring camera caught the crime on film, but I could not identify the man or see the vehicle he left......

  • Recently, I had a health scare that sent me to the emergency room for a few hours.  The care that I received at UC Davis Medical Center was excellent. I drove myself to the emergency room at 6:30 in the morning.  Upon registering, I saw......

  • By Makaila Warga Move over baby boomers, millennials are on the cusp of becoming the nation’s largest adult generation – and with that comes a significant opportunity to influence the public policy debate. Based on data recently collected by Pe...

  • Biofuels are made from either grain, sugar or vegetable oils–all important food products. There is increasing competition for feedstocks (food stocks?) between eating and energy. Rising prices for vegetable oil are forcing the world’s poo...

  • The California rush to ban foam takeout food containers is starting to look like a frenetic race that would embarrass even the most aggressive Black Friday shoppers. Currently, 119 cities and counties in California prohibit businesses from providing ...

  • Does everyone by virtue of their existence have a right to shelter? It’s a question the California legislature will consider in 2019. Earlier this month, Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, introduced Senate Bill 48. This Right to Shelter Bill “aims ...

  • Ian Calderon, the Assembly’s Democratic majority leader, wants to criminalize the act of providing unrequested free plastic straws at sit-down restaurants. Assembly Bill 1884 threatens waiters who give customers straws they didn’t ask for with as man...

  • Many large bureaucratic organizations are inefficient, but the EPA is in a class by itself. The EPA is incompetent and wasteful, and it often does more harm than good. It’s time for it to go. The EPA’s ever-expanding regulations impose hu...

  • This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the “Miracle on Ice,” one of the biggest upsets in history when the United States hockey team beat the USSR in the semi-final game of the 1980 Winter Olympics. Anyone who watched the Olympics live or saw the......

  • When it comes to choosing vendors and making other business decisions, we’ve all had our secret preferences – the tax attorneys who saved our competitors a lot of money, the website developers from our old firm, the office space next to our favorite ...

  • Sacramento Union, November 6, 2008 A new study, Energy Efficiency, Innovation, and Job Creation in California, claims that California’s energy-efficiency policies created nearly 1.5 million jobs from 1977 to 2007. The Oct. 20 study, which examined on...

  • At 2 pm Eastern time today, President Trump spoke at the Department of Health and Human Services where he recommended a litany of policies that would ultimately impose price controls on the pharmaceutical market. Take his proposal to force the prices...

  • Policies intended to force Americans into electric vehicles, and taxpayer-financed subsidies that have propped up the EV industry aren’t consistent with those who believe government has limits. But this doesn’t mean that a company such as EV maker Te...

  • With the support of Governor Schwarzenegger, the mayors of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose last week announced a $1-billion joint plan to make the Bay Area “the electric-vehicle capital of the world.” The announcement follows President-elect Oba...

  • Recently, I had the opportunity to spend two weeks traveling throughout England, Ireland, and Scotland. Though each of the places we visited were very distinct from one another – the hotels that we stayed at had one thing in common – bulk dispensers ...

  • It seems you can’t scroll through your social media feed or morning newsletter without reading commentary about inverted yield curve and recession. A 2020 economic recession is the talk of political pundits, financial talking heads, and presidential ...

  • Dr. Henry Miller, PRI’s new fellow in health care studies, joins us to discuss his recent Wall Street Journal op-ed challenging the “authentic” industry, which made waves nationally. We also discuss how over-regulation prevents beneficial products f...

  • Dr. Henry Miller, M.S., M.D. talks about how the Biden administrations nomination for secretary of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be a detriment to helping agriculture survive extreme weather events. Miller talks about how the EPA stop...

  • PRI Senior Fellow Dr. Wayne Winegarden appeared on The Ethan Bearman Show on KGO-AM to discuss the fiscal consequences of California’s Proposition 55 — the state ballot initiative that would extend the “temporary” personal inc...

  • If approved by the California electorate this November, Proposition 23 will suspend the implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) until the California unemployment rate declines to 5.5 percent or less for four cons...

  • Earth Day turns 40 today, April 22, a good time for scientists, politicians, journalists and the public to dump climate-change orthodoxy. Too many facts are interfering with the familiar story line. The earth is getting warmer and the cause is modern...

  • Amen to that, but whether it happens will reveal whether the global political class really wants to deal with climate, or whether they are more concerned with global governance and the whole moveable feast of UN pretensions. My money is on the UN pro...

  • Facing a projected $40-billion budget shortfall, Governor Schwarzenegger last week proposed eliminating a redundant state board that has become a symbol of cronyism and inefficiency in Sacramento. Unlike most boards and commissions, which offer a sti...

  • Last week, Gov. Newsom, in an “emergency declaration”, is giving 76,000 inmates — including violent and repeat felons — the opportunity to leave prison early in order to reduce the state’s prison population. Of the 76,000 inmates, 63,000 ...

  • It’s time to clear the air about how the United States affects the environment — and how extremist environmentalism could affect the U.S. A report of leading environmental indicators by the Pacific Research Institute and the American Ente...

  • Julian Morris, Senior Fellow at Reason and a Senior Scholar at the International Center for Law and Economics, joins us for a discussion on environmental topics as we mark Earth Day 2021. We discuss the Biden Administration's "green infrastructure" ...

  • California environmental officials have decided against implementing the “cool car” regulations they finalized last June. The move could be a first step toward a better environmental policy and an improved economy. Last June the California Air Resour...

  • Kansas City Hispanic News (Kansas City, MO), April 30, 2008* Holmen Courier (West Salem, WI), April 24, 2008 Mundo L.A. (Van Nuys, CA), April 24, 2008 With all the reminders to recycle, shrink our carbon footprint, and reduce our consumption of goods...

  • In case anyone has forgotten (and many long have), April 22 is Earth Day.  And while the coronavirus pandemic has put a chill on this year’s worldwide 50th jubilee celebration, it hasn’t caused its demise. If anything, progressive climate change advo...

  • The Eureka Reporter, April 24, 2008 SACRAMENTO — Earth Day events here were rather different this year. Car dealers showcased their latest hybrids, hippies were little in evidence, and the crowd was more upscale. There was even, yes, valet parking fo...

  • PRI senior fellow Steve Hayward joins us for a special Earth Day edition of Next Round.  We talk all things environment, from how the environmental movement morphed from a call for conservation to a push for socialism, how the Green New Deal would hu...

  • It’s the day of the year that the world celebrates being green and there’s certainly a lot to be “green” about today. The Pacific Research Institute and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) published their yearly Index of Leading Environmental Ind...

  • By Henry I. Miller, M.S., M.D. and Jeff Stier Today is Earth Day, a celebration originally conceived by then-U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.) and first held in 1970 as a “symbol of environmental responsibility and stewardship.” In the spirit of t...

  • Two items rattled across my desk that, at first glance, didn’t appear to share much in common. The first, a letter from former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall and his wife, Lee Udall, to their grandchildren, appeared in Colorado-ba...

  • The press for more offshore drilling has opened a rift among California environmentalists. Many are calling for increased oil recovery to reduce the amount of natural oil seepage, while others continue to fear the risk of major spills. In Santa Barba...

  • The Pacific Research Institute recently released its “U.S. Economic Freedom Index: 2008 Report” and the results are pretty interesting. PRI defines economic freedom as “the right of individuals to pursue their interests through voluntary exchange of ...

  • To pay for it, the bill’s authors would use the same resource they tried to take in HR 6: rescinding tax incentives for the oil and natural gas industry. That could raise almost $18 billion over 10 years. But the renewable-energy lobby is trying to.....

  • If you want to handicap a man for the rest of his life, deny him an education. This is manifestly true in America, as the disadvantages associated with a poor education tend to multiply in a free society and a free economy. It is our......

  • When the Pacific Research Institute asked business leaders about what makes California an unattractive state to locate or expand their companies, one respondent said, “Every single thing you can imagine.”  And, among the many complaints from business...

  • While high-speed rail, California’s monument to folly, mocks itself with unfinished concrete pillars rising toward the sky like empty hands and tracks leading to nowhere, a tunnel burrowed by entrepreneur Elon Musk beneath Los Angeles might be the fo...

  • The California electorate next month will vote on Proposition 23, which would suspend the implementation of the state’s global warming (i.e., energy taxation) law (“AB32″) until the unemployment rate reaches 5.5 percent for four consecuti...

  • The political left has long wanted the United States to be more like Europe. Its appetite for Europeanization is clearly visible in California where the political class that runs the state has demanded a bullet train of its very own. At the groundbre...

  • I have written before on the benefits and drawbacks of the various universal basic income (UBI) proposals bubbling up the last few years in the American political scene, specifically the economic, political, and moral dimensions of these policies.  A...

  • Legislation that would have required all electric power sold in the state to be generated by renewable sources by 2045 was held up in the final days of the recently-completed legislative session. But it will come back. Should the idea ever become law...

  • For many generations California was the land of promise, where people could earn fortunes, freely express themselves, and live easily with minimal interference from authorities. It was a well-deserved image. But the dream is now a mirage. California ...

  • Last week, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden unveiled his economic platform in Pennsylvania, calling for an end to the “era of shareholder capitalism.”  It seems that Jack Lew, former treasury secretary and a member of the Biden brain trust, n...

  • A few months back we wrote about California’s “nags and nannies who relish forbidding pleasure, especially those of a gastronomic nature,” and their success in convincing a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to issue a preliminary ruling which requires...

  • Washington. The maxim states that the simplest solution is usually the correct one. And America’s financial crisis is no exception to the rule. Overwhelmed by bailout plans and other convoluted proposals, many of our nation’s leaders are missing the ...

  • Of the hot topics discussed in Washington and the media, there is probably none where the substance-to-blather ratio is higher than in energy, where slogans substitute for serious thought, and where pointing out unwelcome facts is frowned upon as a m...

  • Not surprisingly, the study asserts that continuing on a “business-as-usual” energy path risks greater economic insecurity, while aggressive acceleration of clean energy assures faster and more sustained economic growth. Relying on renewable sources ...

  • The last week of December is naturally a time to look back on the year that was.  Here at PRI, we are particularly proud of the growing popularity of our weekly “Next Round with PRI” podcast and our daily “Right by the Bay” blog.  Thanks......

  • That sound you hear this morning is millions of California voters feeling relieved that the primary election is finally over in the Golden State.  Many are rejoicing the fact that they won’t have to see any more campaign advertising the next time the...

  • Recent polls show that many college students are worried about the declining state of free speech on campus. In California, the attacks on campus free speech have been fierce and increasing.  PRI’s Steve Hayward, who is currently teaching at UC Berke...

  • Earth Day turns 40 today, a good time to review some realities we didn’t know on the first Earth Day in 1970, when economic prosperity was assumed to be the enemy of the environment. That turns out to be wrong. The Index of Leading Environmental......

  • Stephen H. Schneider, hailed as the “Carl Sagan of climate science,” and who served on the international panel that won the 2007 Nobel Prize with Al Gore, has passed away at 65. He should be remembered as much more than a global warming alarmist. In....

  • Steven Hayward is not only the author of the forthcoming “The Age of Reagan, 1980-1989: The Conservative Counterrevolution. He is also the author of the fourteenth annual edition of the Index of Leading Environmental Indicators, just published ...

  • Environmental groups advocating for land conservation and protection of endangered species are lining up in opposition to measures to expedite solar energy projects on federal lands, particularly in the Mojave Desert, announced by Interior Department...

  • Environment and Climate News, August 1, 2008 Live Journal, July 23, 2008 Greenie Watch, August 26, 2008 Scientists at Columbia University are developing a carbon dioxide (CO2) scrubber device that removes one ton of CO2 from the air every day. While ...

  • Green groups blame a widely-used insecticide for bee ‘die-offs,’ but the evidence is weak. In January, the European Commission advised the EU not to use neonicotinoids, a relatively new class of agricultural insecticides. Now the member c...

  • SACRAMENTO – One of the most unusual vote-buying scams the Obama administration may have used to pass its health care socialization plan was an alleged promise to two Democratic congressmen to increase federal water supplies to the San Joaquin Valley...

  • Americans are rightfully outraged over the massive data breach at Equifax.  We’re also upset about how the company handled the announcement of the breach and its proposed remedy. What made the Equifax breach so jarring was how many of us are victims....

  • You would think that California’s current $21.4 billion budget surplus would be plenty of money to fund the spending wish list of those thwarted over the past 8 years by former Gov. Jerry Brown’s adherence to the principle of subsidiarity. Think agai...

  • Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA), February 15, 2008 Press Dakotan, February 15, 2008 Billings Gazette (MT), February 12, 2008 Investor’s Business Daily, February 11, 2008 WASHINGTON – The red-hot congressional love affair with the alternati...

  • Among Pres. Biden’s first executive orders was to replace the entire fleet of federal vehicles with electric vehicles — about 645,000 in all according to the General Services Administration. He claimed that it would create one million autoworke...

  • Twenty years ago, I had my first op-ed published in a major newspaper, the Los Angeles Times. The title was “Pull the Plug on the Electric Car Mandate.” In that column, I pointed out that battery-powered (non-hybrid) electric vehicles were not ready ...

  • In March, the Trump administration saved Obamacare in Idaho. It was a hard decision for administration officials, who harbor no love for the health law. But it was the right call. Idaho officials wanted to help residents who have been harmed by Obama...

  • Recently, I moderated a PRI Webinar on Cybersecurity, Data Privacy, and Regulation During the Coronavirus Pandemic.  It was a fantastic look at the current state of data privacy, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and where state and federal reg...

  • Say Anything Blog, May 14, 2009 RXnews.com (Bismarck, ND), May 14 2009 12:00AM Great video of Dr. Robert Murphy talking about the myth of so-called “green jobs.” I’ll be interviewing Dr. Murphy on my radio show this Friday, and he’ll be appearing at ...

  • Advocates for Agriculture, December 19, 2008 By: Alan Caruba In 2006 the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued a report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” that was so full of absurd claims, dressed up to look like science, that I ma...

  • California taxpayers – and all Americans were given a bit of breathing room this year when the IRS announced that this year’s tax deadline would be May 17th, instead of the usual April 15th. The extra month given us to pay and file our 2020......

  • Obamacare’s fifth open enrollment season just ended for the 39 states served by Healthcare.gov — and it was a major failure in terms of enrollees. Fewer than 10 million people signed up for 2018 health plans through the state and federal exchan...

  • Policy debates over curriculum often center on test scores and other student performance indicators.  However, according to a recent lawsuit filed in federal court, curricular bias and indoctrination have reached shocking levels that raise serious co...

  • There’s a popular saying we are all familiar with, and it rings truer each time I hear it: “As California goes, so goes the nation.” If you want to know the policy battles America and the other states will soon be fighting, look no further......

  • As our nation enters a pivotal presidential election year, it will be critically important to promote and defend free markets and individual freedom in California and throughout the country. The Pacific Research Institute remains committed to advanci...

  • Irate over plummeting stock prices in recent weeks, the media reported that President Trump wanted to fire his appointed Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.  But can he really fire him?  It turns out that the law is murky in this area.  Trump can fire Powell...

  • This afternoon, the Senate Budget Committee will hold its first hearing on the state’s response to the coronavirus. Today’s hearing promises to be memorable for two reasons.  It will be the first hearing with “social distancing” practices that have b...

  • Most of the press reports on the negative environmental impacts of renewable fuel have centered on the production of ethanol. Seems that ethanol production, because of changes in land use patterns, run off, fertilizers and sprays, often causes more p...

  • Neither political party has been fiscally responsible as of late. The last fiscally responsible President was Bill Clinton who, in his 1996 State of the Union Address, declared that “the era of big government is over”. Today, it is the era of small g...

  • Courtesy of the polar vortex, unseasonably cold temperatures came to a broad swath of the country, from Texas to Maine, last week, causing frost damage to crops and ornamental plants. (And snow in New York City’s Central Park on May 9). Cherry and ot...

  • It seems that Seattle is no longer evergreen for Amazon. Last week, the company announced that it’s on the hunt for a second headquarters. There wasn’t a clear explanation for why the online retail giant is seeking a new habitat. But even climate cha...

  • My husband, Charles Kesler, and I have spent the last several Christmas holidays in London. Each year, the news headlines about the National Health Service (single-payer British style) seem to get worse and worse.  I often save the articles to use as...

  • It’s not uncommon to find people who think San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities, if not the most beautiful city, in the world. Neither would it be shocking to learn that people are finding it to be one of the most unlivable......

  • When Barack Obama called college an economic imperative, he did a disservice to millions of young people. When the current cast of presidential hopefuls call for college that’s free, they do a disservice to America. For years, liberals have romantici...

  • “A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, all the modern languages . . .” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice Last week, Pres. Biden proposed to spend $109 billion to make community college free.  As in many of the P...

  • CNSNews.com, March 24, 2009 Lux Libertas, March 24, 2009 Green Being, March 24, 2009 (CNSNews.com) – While President Barack Obama touted a greener future for America on Monday, free-market economists expressed skepticism about the prospects of green ...

  • California is home to six of the 10 cities with the worst air pollution in the country. This seems inconceivable, given that the state has the strictest environmental rules in the nation. Clearly, policymakers have been making the wrong choices. Of c...

  • Editor’s Note:  Damon Dunn breaks down what are often-confusing economic concepts and makes free market economics more relatable to our everyday lives in his new Right by the Bay column, ‘Free Markets 101’.  We are pleased to present his debut column...

  • The U.S. economy has generated more wealth for more people than any other economic system in human history, and it’s not even close. What began as a small group of colonies clustered near the eastern seaboard of a mostly empty continent founded by po...

  • This essay is meant to be a simple and straight forward look at how adding specific skill sets allowed me to have socioeconomic mobility and earn wages that allow me to send my daughter to private school, own a home, and enjoy a better present......

  • One of the most common themes in American politics is the emphasis on preserving or restoring our role as a land of opportunity. Across the political spectrum, there is a general sense that the intergenerational promise of upward mobility is becoming...

  • The United States’ K-12 system of education must evolve to keep pace with the changing global economy. America has consistently taken a leading role in the world in a broad range of industries because we have avoided each century’s intellectual polit...

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week that he was going to name an energy czar “in the wake of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s prolonged power outages,” says the Sacramento Bee, because. According to the governor, “the entire system needs to be re...

  • Many of you may be unaware, but this past week was National Clean Energy Week. And, while many economically harmful policies have been proposed in pursuit of clean, efficient, and cost-effective renewable energy, the goal is worthwhile. It just matte...

  • There are not enough politicians who know what it takes to run a business. Many argue that government would improve if it was run more like a business. Having been an entrepreneur and business owner, I know firsthand the blessings and challenges that...

  • Our politics are full of paeans to small business. Regardless of one’s policy preferences or party affiliation, everyone appears rhetorically to be on the side of small business. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, I am reminded daily of the...

  • Coming from Hollywood may explain Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s disconnect with reality. In the real world, saying so doesn’t make it so. In Copenhagen this week, he made the astonishing claim that the Golden State is evidence we need not ...

  • For too long, Sacramento has ignored Rural California, enacting policies that are out-of-step with the values of those living north of the State Capitol. Fed-up North State residents have been loudly pushing a proposal to break the state in two. If t...

  • Ancient scrolls tell us there was once an era when Californians rose up against the heavy hand of taxation. In the now-distant year of 1978 voters approved Proposition 13 to limit the government’s reach in property taxes. The final tally was a 65-35 ...

  • Californians who didn’t fill up on Tuesday are probably kicking themselves today. Tax hikes on gasoline and diesel fuel went into effect, sending prices significantly higher. The levy on a gallon of gasoline spiked 12 cents, from 18 cents to 30, whil...

  • Don’t Mind the Gap: Gender Pay Disparities Are No Evidence of Discrimination By Sally C. Pipes, President, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy Pacific Research Institute October 14, 2016 Hillsdale College’s Center for Co...

  • Although millennials and Gen Z’ers diverge in economic, political, and social attitudes, the two are frequently lumped together in discussions regarding the politics of the youth. Understanding the differences can significantly aid free marketers on ...

  • The wages of California city planning spare no man—not even George Lucas. As recently as late 2020, the filmmaker sued the California town of San Anselmo to clear up a “surveying error” that may revert a portion of his property to the heirs of its......

  • Back on Feb. 15, George Will wrote an op-ed in the The Washington Post in which he claimed: As global levels of sea ice declined last year, many experts said this was evidence of man-made global warming. Since September, however, the increase in sea ...

  • The electric-vehicle tax credit should be taken off the road Some government foolishness has an educational value that compensates for its considerable cost. Consider the multibillion-dollar federal electric-vehicle tax credit, which efficiently illu...

  • A lush green lawn has a certain aesthetic appeal, there’s no denying that. If lawn was counted as a crop, however, it would be one of the nation’s biggest, but it is far from a critical need as far as water use. Yet, watering lawns......

  • Front Page Magazine, April 22, 2008 Earth Day 2008 brings good news about the environment but also reveals a strange dynamic. Despite a nearly non-stop public dialogue, including an Oscar-winning movie and two Nobel prizes, Americans are actually tak...

  • With the beginning of the new year, work now begins on the drawing of California’s new legislative and congressional lines. Several years back, voters enacted a ballot measure to give the power to draw district lines to an independent citizen’s commi...

  • California is in the grips of an unprecedented housing crisis, which has sent hundreds of thousands of Californians packing for affordable states like Arizona and Nevada. Here in Los Angeles, both home prices and homelessness have hit record highs, a...

  • With the holiday season upon us, now is the time when pundits in Washington and Sacramento get out their crystal balls and offer their unsolicited predictions on what will happen in politics, policy, and government in 2018. Now that we have the “Righ...

  • Sensible environmental regulations play an indispensable role ensuring that public lands are sustainably managed. But, as Earth Day’s 47th anniversary is celebrated, it is important to recognize that sensible regulations should also encourage the res...

  • Something was wrong with Sally Ann, the beloved boat of Barry Treahy, another boating fan hit by the switch over. For months, Sally Ann did not run right and Treahy’s remedies weren’t working. He kept changing her fuel filters, rebuilt he...

  • The latest hot social theory in California is universal basic income. Essentially, it’s about paying people to do nothing.  Academics and tech titans have promoted it to address poverty, rising costs of living, and even the temporarily disruptive eff...

  • Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher of Yuba City joins us at his Sacramento office to talk about the Oroville Dam emergency, building California water storage, and his proposal to give the North State a bigger voice in California politics....

  • University of Tennessee law professor and Instapundit founder Glenn Reynolds – author of an Encounter Intelligence book on space policy – joins us for a fascinating conversation about America’s future in space, which will be dominated by the private ...

  • Environment & Climate News (Heartland Institute), September 1, 2008 Global warming activists are putting agriculture firmly in their crosshairs, launching new efforts to restrict meat production and consumption. This latest anti-meat campaign bu...

  • Whenever you hear a politician start a sentence with, “If we can put a man on the moon… ,” grab your wallet. For years, Democrats, enthralled by the cargo cult of the Kennedy presidency, have used the moon landing as proof that no b...

  • It doesn’t happen often enough, but sometimes freedom wins in California. In the most recent of these rare events, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals – yes, the Ninth – affirmed late last month a lower-court ruling that said the San Francisco or...

  • San Francisco – California should lift bans and restrictions to help alleviate the water distribution problem, according to Go with the Flow: Why water markets can solve California’s water crisis, a Pacific Research Institute report released today. T...

  • The primary goal of cap-and-trade legislation is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. It’s really that simple. But, as someone once said, the devil is in the details. And, that saying holds true for cap and trade, too. Steven Hayward, a Fellow at the ...

  • When I mentioned to our editorial committee that I was going to work on a blog on good bills out of California’s recent legislative session, Kerry Jackson joked that I needed fewer than 100 words to cover that topic. After a few hours of hunting......

  • Earth Day was held this week, which is an appropriate time to make an assessment. Generally, the environment in Jacksonville is pleasant. It’s rare to have an air pollution alert. The St. Johns River looks marvelous. Yet, tributaries are unfit ...

  • Later the same month, Al Gore introduced a proposal for 100 percent of U.S. electricity to be generated from renewable energy within 10 years. The Google web page for their plan references both schemes, stating that the intention of the latest propos...

  • Next week, Republicans will officially take control of Congress. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have both said that they’re “renewing our commitment to repeal ObamaCare” in 2015. The U.S. Su...

  • When Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order last year mandating reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, he said he did it for California’s future. But his motives were irrelevant. He broke the law, says the...

  • As much as we have criticized Gov. Jerry Brown, we have to acknowledge that on occasion he will act as the senior statesman of his party, beating back its most mindless impulses. The most recent example: his judicious counsel on single-payer health c...

  • Years ago, in perhaps one of the most well-known episodes of her long-running talk show, Oprah Winfrey gave away shiny-red Pontiacs to all of the unsuspecting members of her studio audience. Uttering a phrase that has gone down in pop culture history...

  • About once a month, I travel by Amtrak to Emeryville, and then by shuttle bus across the bay, for events or meetings at PRI’s San Francisco headquarters. Usually, I take the shuttle bus that stops in front of the Hyatt Regency at the Embarcadero Cent...

  • Generous, taxpayer-funded subsidies for electric car purchases have become just another costly subsidy benefitting the rich, finds a new study released today by the California-based free-market think tank, the Pacific Research Institute. Click here t...

  • Gas prices in California and across the country have been rising sharply since the start of the year. According to the Orange County Register, “the cost of an average gallon of gasoline has climbed to “the highest it’s been in 67 weeks.” As of March....

  • Download Capital Ideas, October 2017 Gasoline prices spiked more sharply in some states after deadly storms in Texas and Florida than at any time since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. But in California, steep fuel prices are an everyday event. The average...

  • In sharp contrast to a recent study from the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) reporting implementation of AB32 would bring about a net job loss and raise state unemployment in the near future and stressing that long term effects are “uncertai...

  • Renewable energy that is forced on the California market means higher energy costs for everyone. Renewables are simply more expensive—which is why their proponents have to argue for mandates (and not coincidently, the highest levels of direct subsidy...

  • On Friday, Governor Brown released his final “May Revise” budget proposal. For those who aren’t fluent in government-ese, the May Revise is the Governor’s revised budget proposal, taking into account updated tax receipts, economic trends, and budget ...

  • Governor Jerry Brown wants to eliminate dozens of state panels and commissions, a good idea and long overdue. But the governor needs to be more inclusive, and stalk bigger game. His list includes the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, a typical so...

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom released his May Revise budget plan on Thursday – a dramatically different budget from his January plan that anticipated a $5.6 billion surplus.  California now faces a $54.3 billion deficit. In a press conference that lasted more t...

  • Part of President Biden’s Build Back Better initiative promises to “create good-paying union jobs and train Americans for jobs of the future.” The unspoken theory behind this initiative is that green jobs will offer a pay premium to workers compared ...

  • As I wrote back in 2007, “Investing in renewable energy will provide a clean source of power and create an explosion of new jobs. In late September [2007], this claim attracted the attention of the U.S. Senate Energy and Public Works Committee ...

  • A lot has already been said about the Green New Deal, including my favorite: “What planet is she on?” from Brian Kilmeade of FOX.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is on planet California, that’s where.  The “green dream or whatever” as Nancy Pelosi dismissi...

  • Democrat firebrands Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey just unveiled their “Green New Deal,” a multi-trillion-dollar effort to overhaul the energy industry and slash America’s net greenhouse gas emissions to zero within a decade. The le...

  • At first, we were relieved to find that Pres. Biden’s proposal to include a $15 minimum wage hike in the COVID-19 relief package was just a bad nightmare.  But when Californians woke up the other day, the idea was back on track.  Unlike Bill Murray,....